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Christensen Farms Addresses Special Interest Video

Date: 7/18/2012
Author: Christensen Farms


Christensen Farms Addresses Special Interest Video
-- Company is Pioneer in Animal Welfare Practices --

SLEEPY EYE, MINNESOTA -- July 18, 2012 -- Christensen Farms & Feedlots, Inc. is a long-standing producer of high-quality pork products and a pioneer in seeking new ways to improve production procedures. The Company is committed to utilizing best practices supported by scientific research to promote good individual animal health.

Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group that promotes "veganism", released an undercover video targeting Christensen Farms and a number of large grocery retailers. The video purports to show a typical operation of a pork production facility, but the images shown in the video are dated and are intentionally taken out of context.

"Taking proper care of our animals is our primary goal and essential to the success of our business," said Robert Christensen, chief executive officer of Christensen Farms. "Over the years, we have continually challenged ourselves to improve our operational practices and compliance with industry standards. As one of the largest pork production companies in the U.S., we take our responsibility as a steward to the industry and the animal very important."

Recently, Christensen Farms made the decision to adopt an innovative method of euthanasia using carbon dioxide to prevent the suffering of sick or injured piglets. The Company continues to seek improvements, including evaluating options for animal housing.

Christensen Farms Response to Issues Brought Forth in Video:
1. Gestational Stalls/Individual Maternity Pens:
Housing systems, such as gestational stalls/individual maternity pens, allow producers to provide the best individual care to sows and their piglets and are within standard animal welfare practices. The Company continues to monitor trends and implement changes based on the latest research and customer feedback.

2. Blunt Force Trauma: Christensen Farms is a pioneer in seeking alternative methods of animal care, such as the February 2012 decision to adopt a new innovative method of euthanasia using carbon dioxide to prevent the suffering of sick or injured piglets. Although manual blunt force trauma is accepted by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians as a method of euthanasia, many within the pork industry are exploring alternatives to this practice.

3. Tail Docking: This method of clipping the tail of young piglets is standard animal welfare practice and is in fact done to prevent injury, infection, and death. It is common for piglets to engage in tail biting of other piglets, which causes physical damage and fear in animals.

4. Photos of Injured Pigs: Photos may have been taken out of context and did not fully depict the hard work and care of the company's on farm staff. The injuries shown in the Mercy for Animals video appear to have occurred just prior to the footage being shot. Under existing procedures, those animals would have been treated by staff on the farm under veterinary supervision.

The company performs periodic internal audits in addition to utilizing external expertise to provide input and perspective on production practices including animal welfare standards.
"We recognize our moral and ethical obligation to provide for the responsible treatment of our animals," said Dr. Laura Dalquist, DVM, a consulting veterinarian to Christensen Farms. "Christensen Farms' animal welfare practices are fully consistent with industry standards for humane and ethical treatment of animals."

# # #

About Christensen Farms & Feedlots, Inc.
Founded in 1974 as a small family operation, Christensen Farms is now one of the largest producers of pork in the U.S., with operations throughout the Upper Midwest. Headquartered in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, Christensen Farms is a leading provider of quality pork products.

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