ARBORG, Manitoba – Mercy For Animals Canada released an undercover video depicting animal abuse at a pork production facility reportedly owned by Puratone, one of Canada’s largest pork producers.

The video depicts workers improperly handling pigs as well as footage of sick pigs and piglets and others with open sores and other injuries. The group also used the video as a platform to speak out against gestation stalls and promote a vegetarian diet.

"While many of the standard industry practices uncovered at this pig factory farm are needlessly cruel, subjecting animals to a lifetime of confinement in crates so small they are virtually immobilized is perhaps the worst form of institutionalized animal abuse in existence," MFA said in a statement on the group's website. "A growing number of animal welfare experts opposes the use of gestation crates, concluding what common sense should have told us all along: animals with legs should have room to move."

Ray Hildebrand, president and CEO of Puratone, released the following statement in response to the release of the video:

“Puratone is committed to animal welfare. We are disturbed by some of the images, shown in the video taken in one of our farming sites, which do not reflect our animal welfare policy and principles.

“The vast majority of our people respect the animals under their care and follow good stewardship practices. We require all staff to adhere to our animal welfare policies and nothing else will be tolerated.

“Over our 25 years of farming operations we have strictly followed regulations and the industry best practices regarding animal welfare. All of our employees receive training to ensure that they adhere to these standards and we have veterinarians on staff to enforce these requirements.

“We have launched an immediate investigation and corrective actions will be taken.”