New Investigation: Pigs Painfully Shocked and Bled to Death at JBS Slaughterhouse in Brazil

For the first time, a Mercy For Animals investigator went inside a pig slaughterhouse in Brazil operated by the world’s largest meat company, JBS. Our newly released undercover video shows animals being painfully shocked and bled to death at the slaughterhouse and pigs living in extreme filth and suffering from injuries and illnesses at factory farms.

The footage was captured at a JBS slaughterhouse in Brazil and at several pig farms in the southern and southeastern parts of the country, including one JBS supplier.

JBS USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS, is one of the leading processors of beef, pork, and prepared foods. It is also a major shareholder of poultry company Pilgrim’s Pride. JBS USA was recently involved in several scandals, from bribery and price fixing to accusations that it had failed to protect its slaughterhouse workers from COVID-19.

In the Brazilian slaughterhouse, pigs are painfully shocked with electricity and bled to death. Footage shows animals shaking as blood gushes from their necks. Their bodies are then hung on an industrial line and cut open so workers can remove the organs. Our investigator documented pigs’ bodies with signs of pneumonia and damaged organs, including kidneys with cysts and ruptured intestines contaminated with feces.

Given the way pigs at factory farms are raised, these diseases are not surprising. Before reaching the slaughterhouse, pigs are often crowded together and forced to live on filthy concrete floors. Mother pigs spend most of their lives crammed into crates so small they can’t even turn around. As a result of such conditions, many pigs at the farms in Brazil suffered damaged limbs, tremors, dizziness, and trouble breathing.

Pigs are routinely given antibiotics to enable them to survive their crowded, squalid conditions. Shockingly, 70 percent of the world’s antibiotics are sold for use on farmed animals. The overuse of antibiotics can cause antibiotic resistance, a leading global health threat. Factory farms are not only terrible for animals but a serious public health issue for humans.

Gestation crates that confine mother pigs, like the ones seen in the footage, have been banned in 10 U.S. states, Canada, the European Union, New Zealand, and Australia. More than 60 major food companies—including McDonald’s, Walmart, Burger King, and Nestlé—have adopted policies to ban these crates from their supply chains.

Mercy For Animals is calling on JBS to end many of the worst practices throughout its global pork supply chains, including eliminating painful mutilations and prohibiting suppliers from cramming pigs into crates for nearly their entire lives. Mercy For Animals president Leah Garcés stated:

From the day pigs are born until the day they are killed for JBS pork, their lives are filled with misery and deprivation. As the largest meat company in the world, JBS has the power and responsibility to implement a global welfare policy.  

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