July 17, 2018 / 9:57 PM / in 3 months

Brazil's JBS suspends supplier after animal cruelty claims

SAO PAULO, July 17 (Reuters) - Brazil’s JBS SA, the world’s largest meat producer, said on Tuesday it had stopped using one of its suppliers after an animal rights group released a video showing alleged mistreatment of pigs.

Animal rights group Mercy For Animals on Tuesday released video footage it said was shot in the United States showing workers beating piglets and ripping off their testicles without anesthesia, while female pigs were confined in very small metal cages. Reuters could not independently confirm the authenticity of the video.

JBS said in a statement that it suspended shipments from that supplier site and had started an investigation, without naming the company involved. JBS said it does not condone or participate in any type of abuse involving animals.

“The images presented in the video fall completely outside the company’s standards,” the JBS statement said.

Mercy For Animals, which describes itself as a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals, said in an email to Reuters that the video was shot at a facility owned by Tosh Farms LCC in Franklin, Kentucky, between December 2017 and March 2018.

Tosh Farms is among the 25 largest U.S. pig producers and is a supplier to JBS, according to Mercy For Animals.

Tosh Farms did not immediately reply to a message and a call seeking comment.

Mercy for Animals described the images as “shocking” and called on the parties allegedly responsible for the wellbeing of the animals to change their practices. (Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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