SLEEPY EYE, Minn. – Christensen Farms & Feedlots Inc. announced the suspension of seven employees as the company investigates allegations of animal welfare violations at one of the company’s Minnesota hog production facilities.

“We were disappointed to learn of alleged violations of our animal welfare policies at one of our facilities,” Christensen Farms CEO Glenn Stolt said. “At Christensen Farms, we take the health and welfare of our animals very seriously. It is our responsibility and we owe it to our packer customers and consumers to provide uncompromising care to our animals. There is no place in this industry for individuals who mistreat animals.”

Christensen Farms, which was founded in 1974 as a small family operation, has operations throughout the Upper Midwest, and is a leading provider of quality pork products.

According to the company, all Christensen Farms employees are trained in proper animal care, and employees are required to sign a document agreeing to the company’s strict animal welfare policies. Employees who fail to live up to Christensen Farms’ high standards are held accountable.

“While these allegations are very disappointing, we have a history of continually improving our animal welfare processes,” Stolt said. “Although this incident will only directly impact a small number of our animals it will provide us with the opportunity to improve and strengthen our commitment to quality animal care and employee training. As part of concluding our internal investigation, we will determine whether any additional enhancements need to be made to our animal welfare and animal husbandry policies.”