Gov. Daniels wants to double the state’s pork production and it has been reported that 21 applications have been received to expand or start large-scale hog farms. Some counties have balked at approving such huge livestock or dairy facilities because of the wastes generated on the farms and out of consideration for the neighbors of these farms. Those for it see the profit, while those against see the inconvenience. Nobody is thinking about the brutality to the hogs.

First, the pregnant sows (which can weigh 400 to 600 pounds) are put in a 2-by-7 crate and kept there for a month. These crates are barely large enough for the animal to stand up and lay down.

They can’t turn around.

After the babies are born any sick for injured piglets are clubbed to death. Nursery pigs weighing 60 to 100 pounds are confined 25 to a 7-by-16 pen. That’s about 4.5 square feet per pig. They have to fight to get to the feeder, and they pile on each other to sleep.

They sleep over pits of their own manure. The hydrogen sulfide coming off the pits makes for a poisonous environment. These pigs are never let out of those pens. They live under so much stress that it produces health problems. They are fed antibiotics to counterbalance this “problem.” If any of these pigs become sick or injured, they are shot.

When they are ready for slaughter, they are loaded into hog trailers and packed so tight that they sometimes suffer rectal prolapse. Truckers sometimes use gaff type hooks to load the pigs. They insert the hook wherever they can. Unloading at the slaughterhouse is as ugly as the loading. Some pigs are dismembered and skinned alive when the stun gun misses its mark.

According to Indiana law, all of the above is legal. If you have any human decency at all, please urge your county officials to reject all applications in your county. For more information, log on to

Ray Wilson is a Middletown resident.

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