SIOUX CENTER, Iowa -- An animal rights group has asked Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle to investigate a Sioux Center pork plant that was cited last month by regulators for the inhumane slaughter of a pig.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent a letter to Kunstle on Monday asking his office to investigate Perdue Premium Meat Company and file suitable criminal charges against the company and responsible workers for violations of the Humane Methods Slaughter Act.
Kunstle said he had received the letter and he would see if any charges are warranted.
"It's a complaint received by my office, and I will look into the matter," Kunstle said.
The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service on April 9 sent a notice of suspension to Perdue Premium Meat for an incident in which a federal veterinarian observed the failed slaughter of a hog with a handheld captive bolt device. The hog was killed during a second attempt.
Later on April 9, the FSIS sent the company a notice that the suspension was being held in abeyance, enabling the plant to resume slaughtering, after receiving details of Perdue Premium Meat's corrective actions and preventive measures that were being taken to correct the violation.
On Nov. 6, the FSIS sent Perdue a notice of intended enforcement for an incident in which a hog had to be stunned four times before it was unconscious. The federal agency deferred the notice after Perdue provided it with a list of corrective measures being taken.
Company spokeswoman Kerri McClimen said the issues in both complaints have been addressed and Perdue takes humane animal care seriously.
Perdue bought the Sioux Center company, started in 1970 as Sioux-Preme Packing Co. in 2015. Perdue Premium, which is a subsidiary of Perdue Farms in Salisbury, Maryland, supplies products to upscale restaurants and retail food markets. The company completed a $29 million, 50,000-square-foot addition at the Sioux Center plant in early 2020.
Perdue operates a Sioux City facility that performs boning and packaging of pork shipped from the Sioux Center plant.