Every two weeks, hundreds of pigs are shipped to Hawaii for slaughter, from as far away as Iowa --on a horrendous transcontinental and overseas journey.
Pigs destined to be killed in Hawaii are loaded onto trucks for a grueling journey of seven days or longer across the states to an ocean port in Oakland, California. The pigs suffer stress and exhaustion, rough handling, hunger, thirst, extreme temperatures, and filthy conditions as they are transported alive across this extensive distance.
Once the livestock truck arrives at the port, the pigs wait to be corralled into containers on a Matson ocean freighter. As many as 600 pigs are packed into two containers per shipment and can suffer injuries due to stress-induced aggression. For approximately five days at sea, the animals are forced to live in their own feces, urine and vomit - - even, at times, amid the corpses of other pigs, until the dead animals are thrown overboard by the livestock attendant.
Upon arriving in Honolulu, it is usually several hours before the pigs are unloaded from the ship. They are left suffering in the heat with minimal ventilation before they then travel another hour by truck to the Hawaii Livestock Cooperative slaughterhouse – which has been cited numerous times by the USDA for the inhumane handling and slaughter of animals – where they are slaughtered and processed.
The pigs destined for slaughter on Maui at the Pukalani pig slaughterhouse continue to be confined in Honolulu for another 1-2 days before departure.
Read WSPA’s full report, No Paradise for Pigs (PDF) for more information.
You can help
Please ask Matson Navigation to take responsibility for its direct role in this cruelty to animals and stop transporting pigs to Hawaii for slaughter.
Pigs destined to be slaughtered in Hawaii are transported from as far away as Iowa, Montana and South Dakota - on a horrific cross-country journey over land and sea during which the pigs suffer stress and exhaustion, rough handling, motion sickness, hunger, thirst, extreme temperatures and unsanitary conditions. Due to overcrowding, stress, fighting, and overexposure, many pigs become ill and die.
On the ocean vessel, pigs are not provided straw or other bedding to protect them from extreme temperatures and from slipping on the hard flooring. There is only one livestock attendant responsible for caring for as many as 920 pigs. Nearly five days at sea in a cramped space contaminated with excrement is an excessive length of time. Transporting these animals under such poor conditions causes considerable fear, stress, and suffering for the pigs. They are forced to live in their own feces, urine, and vomit and even amid the corpses of other pigs until the dead animals are removed from the shipping container and disposed of by the livestock attendant by throwing them overboard. Scientists, public health and food safety officials have noted that the stress of long distance transport of live animals increases the animals’ susceptibility to disease which, in turn, increases the risk of food-borne illness and disease transmission to humans who consume meat from these animals.
Upon arriving in Honolulu, it is usually several hours before the pigs are unloaded from the ship. They are left sitting in the heat with minimal ventilation. The pigs then travel another hour by truck to the Hawaii Livestock Cooperative slaughterhouse where the majority of pigs transported from mainland U.S. are slaughtered and processed. This slaughter facility has been cited multiple times by the USDA for the inhumane handling and slaughter of animals which are required under the U.S. Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.
As a shipping company that is highly regarded, you can take a stand against this cruelty by electing not to transport these animals in the future.
Horizon Lines has pledged in writing not to ship live pigs to Hawaii and so should Matson.