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Letter Urges New Millionaires to Use Percentage of Winnings to Improve Lot of Smart Animals Who End Up as Canned Ham

For Immediate Release:
February 23, 2006

Bruce Friedrich 757-962-8342

Lincoln, Neb. — PETA is calling on the eight workers at a ConAgra pig-processing plant—who recently won the record $365 million Powerball jackpot and can now live their lives high on the hog—to use a little bit of their good fortune to make life a bit better for pigs, whose bodies have provided their livelihood.

In a letter to the winners, PETA urges that a tiny fraction of their fortunes be used to care for one or more pigs who have been rescued from a slaughterhouse or a 4-H project when kids realize that they can’t give up their "pet" to the knife or to spread the word about PETA’s undercover investigations of pig beatings and other instances of cruelty to pigs in factory farms and slaughterhouses.

PETA points out that although pigs are intelligent and social animals, in factory farms, where canned ham originates, they spend their entire lives crammed together in filthy warehouses—under constant stress from the intensive confinement—and have their testicles removed, their tails chopped off, and the ends of their teeth cut off with pliers, without any painkillers. They are trucked to slaughter through all weather extremes, sometimes freezing to the sides of the vehicles. At the slaughterhouse, improper stunning often leaves screaming pigs completely conscious as they are dumped into tanks of scalding-hot water.

"The Powerball winners have the luxury of leaving their dirty work behind," says Bruce Friedrich, PETA’s director of farmed-animal campaigns. "We hope that they will help pigs get a few more square feet of living space or be allowed to breathe fresh air and feel the sun on their backs for the first time in these animals’ lives."

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