For the first time ever in the United States, a feature documentary regarding the mistreatment of animals within the pork industry has been broadcast by a major cable network. HBO’s Death on A Factory Farm focuses exclusively on the groundbreaking work of the Humane Farming Association, detailing HFA’s undercover investigation of Wiles Farm, the notorious hog factory located in Wayne County, Ohio. The film has recently won a Genesis Award for best television documentary.
The abuses uncovered by HFA at Wiles Farm include the starvation of sick and injured pigs, forcing pigs to live in their own waste, severe overcrowding and cannibalism, beatings, inhumane transport – and the hanging and slow death by asphyxiation of struggling and fully conscious pigs. Against overwhelming odds, HFA secured a conviction in this case for the way in which piglets were being brutalized.
This was the very first time in the state’s history that there was a successful cruelty prosecution of a hog factory. It is obvious to everyone familiar with the abuses at Wiles Farm, however, that there should have been additional guilty verdicts. This is particularly true as it pertains to the routine hanging and agonizing death of fully conscious pigs – as well as the slow death by starvation and lack of veterinary care of sick and injured pigs. The reluctance of most courts to take farm animal cruelty seriously, as well as the lack of adequate anti-cruelty laws, is a point made clear by HFA in this HBO documentary. The extensive footage of the Wiles Farm courtroom drama includes startling testimony from the “expert” witness hired by Wiles Farm, veterinarian Paul Armbrecht. It is Armbrecht who made the incredible claim (under oath) that pigs do not suffer as they slowly die from strangulation. This film is sure to be an eye-opening experience for all who view it.
We encourage you to see Death On A Factory Farm and spread the word to family and friends. This documentary provides a rare opportunity for the general public to see what happens on factory farms and will encourage even more people to support farm animal protection efforts and actively engage in HFA’s campaign against factory farming.