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June 9, 2011

The HSUS Recognized with 2011 Telly Award for Outstanding Smithfield Exposé

The Humane Society of the United States is proud to receive a 2011 Silver Telly Award for the video “Undercover at Smithfield.” The video exposes the dark side of the world’s largest pork producer, documenting inhumane treatment of pigs through an undercover investigation at a factory farm operated by a Smithfield Foods subsidiary.

The video was taken by an HSUS investigator who spent a month working at a Smithfield Foods subsidiary in Virginia which confines pigs in two-foot-wide “gestation crates” in which the pigs can’t even turn around for nearly their whole lives.

“The video shows how much Smithfield’s breeding pigs suffer when confined in cages so small, they can barely move an inch,” said Mary Beth Sweetland, director of investigations at The HSUS. “This Telly Award underscores the importance of whistle-blowing investigations that the agribusiness industry is now trying to suppress with draconian legislative proposals.”

While The HSUS works to expose the rampant cruelty found in factory farms, some states threaten to criminalize videos like “Undercover at Smithfield” to protect corporate interests, stifling free speech in order to hide cruelty from the public. Agribusiness-backed bills introduced this year in Iowa, New York, Minnesota, and Florida would not only criminalize the documentation of abusive practices, but in some cases even the possession of such photos or video.

Last month, The HSUS was awarded another 2011 Telly Award for “Stallone: The Face of Dogfighting,” which recounted the heart wrenching story of one canine victim of dogfighting.

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