SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Members of the national animal rights organization Mercy for Animals are demonstrating outside Walmart on Boston Road in Springfield.
They have a 10-foot tall inflatable, bloody pig with them. The protest is part of their effort to expose Walmart's alleged abuse of pigs.
The group claims that some Walmart pork suppliers keep their pregnant pigs in pens that are too small; something that other retailers have demanded their suppliers stop doing.
"Keeping highly intelligent, social animals in confined cages so small they can't turn around for nearly their entire life is blatant animal cruelty. It's time Walmart follows the lead of Safeway, Kroeger and other competitors and phase out the use of cruel practices," Jeni Hines of Mercy for Animals said.
Walmart Corporate Director, Danit Marquardt, emailed 22News a response. "This is a complicated issue. We're listening closely to points of view from farmers, food manufacturers, animal rights organizations, customers and others. We think constructive dialogue and a collaborative approach is the right path to the right solution."
Marquardt also said, "We hold our suppliers to the highest standards and do not tolerate animal mistreatment."
"We are currently engaged with pork suppliers, food safety experts and other organizations to work towards an industry-wide model that is not only respectful of farmers and animals, but also meets our customers' expectations for quality and animal safety," Marquardt concluded.