CRIME

Nations largest pig farm exposed, two face criminal charges

Sep 30, 2022, 11:00 AM | Updated: 11:34 am
pig poop power...
Stock photo of four pigs. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A jury selection is underway after two activists filmed their theft of dying piglets from Utah’s Circle Four Farm in an attempt to save them. 

Advocates are calling it a landmark case to establish the “Right to Rescue” animals in distress. 

Animal rights activists Paul Darwin Picklesimer and a former Northwestern Law visiting professor Wayne Hsiung, both face felony burglary and theft charges, which could lead to a possible 10-plus year prison sentence.

According to a press release, the sentence comes after they filmed their theft of two dying piglets from the nation’s largest pig farm. The farm, owned by Smithfield Foods, a subsidiary of China’s WH Group, has been under investigation.

The farm is accused of misleading consumers about its inhumane treatment of animals. The specific foul treatment among many is the apparent use of 2 by 7 feet pregnancy crates for female pigs. 

Picklesimer and Hsiung went to the farm to investigate the crates, despite the company’s promise to end the practice. Smithfield has faced legal action due to misleading consumers. According to a press release, it has sparked nationwide protests against Costco, a Smithfield Foods buyer. 

Findings on the pig farm

After entering the farm, the two men claimed to find dying and deceased piglets. Video evidence shows the piglets were laying in piles of blood and feces. 

According to Matt Johnson of Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), the video is barred from court. It was ruled the video and any other evidence of the animal’s condition would be too horrific for jurors. 

Picklesimer and Hsiang say this ruling violates their constitutional rights in the press release and, “is part of a broader pattern of undue corporate influence.”

This comes after the FBI used a substantial amount of resources to hunt for the piglets across state lines. 

The two suspects along with their supporters feel consumers don’t know what is happening within the systems of the meat and factory farm industry. They say with their ruling, the court is contributing to the ignorance. 

The trial will take place in Washington County on Monday. According to Johnson, the trial was moved as over 200 supporters are expected to attend trial and activists faced threats of violence and intimidation from local authorities. 

Related reading

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team. here.

Today’s Top Stories

Crime

police car at scene of tooele shooting...
Samantha Herrera

SWAT standoff in Tooele ends peacefully, no further threat to public

The city is asking people to avoid the area of Deer Hollow and advised that anyone sheltering in place stay in their basements.
19 hours ago
Real estate agents are being scammed in Utah on the housing app Zillow....
Hugo Rikard-Bell and Aimee Cobabe

Real estate agents, along with Utah residents, being scammed on Zillow

Utah officials say there are ten different cases of vacant lots or parcel listings fraudulently offered on Zillow.
19 hours ago
The Duchesne County Sheriff's Office says a suspect is in stable condition following an officer-inv...
Mark Jones

Suspect hospitalized after officer-involved shooting in Duchesne County

A suspect is in stable condition following an officer-involved shooting Monday night in Duchesne County.
2 days ago
a car is pictured it might have been involved in a provo hit-and-run...
Aimee Cobabe

Provo Police looking for information about two cars in deadly hit-and-run

Police are asking anyone with information about the hit-and-run to contact Provo Police Detective Smith at csmith@provo.org. 
2 days ago
shoplifting...
Samantha Herrera

Increased shoplifting puts pressure on retailers and raises prices

Shoplifting is hitting retailers hard this season. Though retailers lose millions in stolen merchandise, offenders usually go without much punishment.
2 days ago
A west valley police car is pictured. Police are investigating a hit and run...
Aimee Cobabe

Woman charged in February fatal car crash in West Valley City

A 30-year-old woman is in custody after West Valley City Police say she was the one behind the wheel of a car that caused a deadly crash in February.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Nations largest pig farm exposed, two face criminal charges