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.

Crime, Police + Courts

The Draper City Fire Battalion Chief's vehicle is parked outside Draper City Hall in Draper. a Carb...

Eric Cabrera

Carbon monoxide scare at Draper school

The American Preparatory Academy in Draper City had a carbon monoxide scare Wednesday. No one needed extensive treatment.

10 hours ago

The TikTok logo is displayed on signage outside TikTok social media app company offices in Culver C...

By Samantha Delouya, CNN

Judge blocks Montana’s TikTok ban from taking effect on January 1

(CNN) — A federal judge on Thursday halted Montana’s TikTok ban, which was set to go into effect at the start of 2024. In a filing, US District Judge Donald Molloy said that despite the state government’s attempt to defend the law, “the current record leaves little doubt that Montana’s legislature and Attorney General were […]

13 hours ago

lori vallow daybell pictured, she faces murder charges in arizona...

Sam Herrera

Lori Vallow Daybell extradited to Arizona to face murder charges

Lori Vallow Daybell faces charges in Arizona that allege she killed her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, and tried to kill her niece's ex-husband.

16 hours ago

Kevin Franke court hearing...

Pat Reavy,

Husband of YouTube vlogger Ruby Franke files for divorce

The divorce filing comes nearly three months after Ruby Franke, 41, was charged in 5th District Court with six counts of aggravated child abuse.

24 hours ago

9/11 flag at salt lake 2002 opening ceremony. Winter Games...

Curt Gresseth

As SLC steps closer to hosting 2034 Winter Games, a security expert looks back at 2002

Salt Lake City steps closer to hosting its second Winter Olympics in 2034. A security expert reflects on the lessons learned from the SLC's 2002 Winter Games.

1 day ago


Derrick Jones

Utah DMV warns about a new scam

The DMV says it uses text messages but never requests personal information.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

Nations largest pig farm exposed, two face criminal charges