Sierran Masthead

Report and Online Database Document Animal Cruelty, Pollution Spills

“RapSheets” Expose Violations by 240 Animal Factories

Just weeks after the second-largest beef recall in history, the Sierra Club released a report exposing hundreds of criminal and civil violations committed by America’s largest animal factories.

RapSheet cover The report, The RapSheet on Animal Factories, documents convictions at corporate animal factories for animal cruelty, bribery, records destruction, fraud, worker endangerment, and pollution violations.

The report includes a RapSheet as well as an “America’s Least Wanted Animal Factories” listing, which includes the Pohlmann Hog Factory near Crawfordsville, Indiana. The Pohlmann Hog Factory is documented with at least six manure spills between 1979 and 1995 killing an estimated 64,000 fish in Little Sugar Creek, resulting in fines and penalties of $54,205.86.

“Environmental violations by the meat industry add up to a rap sheet longer than War and Peace,” said Jolinda Buchanan, conservation organizer with Sierra Club’s Hoosier Chapter.

“Unfortunately, massive pollution, unsafe working conditions, recalls, inhumane treatment of animals, and other violations have become a common feature of industrial livestock production.”

Among the findings, the RapSheet documents 60 misdemeanor or felony charges against 50 companies and their managers, 43 public health recalls totaling approximately 67,000 tons of meat, hundreds of manure spills, and $50 million+ in criminal fines.

Violations exposed in the report include:

Pohlmann Hog FactoryCrawfordsvilleIndiana’s largest hog factory; repeat offender
Tyson FoodsMultistate; CorydonChicken processing plant
Perdue Foods, Inc.Multistate; WashingtonPoultry factory operations and processing
Rose Acre FarmsMultistate; SeymourIndiana’s number 3 egg producer in the U.S.
Cargill—Excel Corp.Multistate; Fort BranchThird-largest meatpacking enterprise in U.S.
IBPMultistate; LogansportWorld’s largest purveyor of fresh beef

The Rapsheet report highlights violations committed by 10 of “America’s Least Wanted Animal Factories.” Meat companies who earned the title of “least wanted” include Buckeye Egg and the Pohlmann Hog Factory, Cargill Pork Inc., ConAgra Beef Company, ContiGroup-PSF, DeCoster Farms, Foster Farms, Sand Livestock Systems, Seaboard Farms, Smithfield Foods and Tyson Foods.

Neighbors of factory farms, consumers and reporters can search the database at www.sierraclub.org/factoryfarms/rapsheets to see what’s been going on in their own communities.

“This report is evidence that repeat offenders are continuing to use our environment as a dumping ground,” said Dean Ford, president of Friends of Sugar Creek, a nonprofit community watershed organization working in Montgomery County near the Pohlmann factory. “The health of our air, water and citizens should be protected against such a threat,” he concluded. While the RapSheet report focuses on the largest offenders, an online database available on the Sierra Club Web site profiles more than 240 industrial meat factories that have violated public health and environmental protections. Because anyone can access the online database, it is intended to serve as a powerful tool for citizens who want to hold corporate polluters accountable and keep them out of their communities.

“Large-scale corporate animal factories pollute our air and water, endanger our health, and drive responsible family farmers out of business,” said Buchanan. “This report illustrates that factory farms are more factory than farm, and should be held to the same environmental standards as any other industry.”

The online database documents specific violations in Indiana as well as several multistate corporations with various violations doing business in the state. These violations run the gamut of labor violations at Tyson’s chicken-processing plant in Corydon to manure spills and fish kills by the Pohlmann Hog Factory.

Despite repeated violations of environmental and public health laws, many of the companies highlighted in the RapSheets continue to receive millions of dollars every year from the School Lunch Program and other federal food assistance programs.


Copyright © 2007 Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club, all rights reserved.[09/15/02]efp

Fall 2002