73 / 57
      75 / 61
      77 / 63

      Inflatable, blood pig seen outside Florence Walmart

      A national animal rights organization called Mercy For Animals held a demonstration at the entrance of the Walmart on Beltline Drive in Florence Monday morning.

      Protestors stood in front of a 10-foot-tall, inflatable pig, covered in bloody sores and crammed inside a small crate.

      The demonstrators held signs and carried banners asking Walmart to stop using one of its main pork suppliers, who they say abuse pigs.

      Mercy For Animals says the pork sold at Walmart stores come from factory farms where pregnant pigs are confined in tiny crates to a point they can't lie down, turn around, engage in basic behaviors and are denied all mental stimulation.

      "Walmart has the power and the ethical responsibility to help stop one of the cruelest factory farming practices by ending the sale of crated pork," said Jeni Haines, Mercy For Animals.

      Mercy For Animals encourages the public to sign a petition urging Walmart executives to phase out gestation crates.

      Below is the statement issued by Walmart:

      ??This is a complicated issue. We??re listening closely to points of view from farmers, food manufacturers, animal rights organizations, customers and others. We think constructive dialogue and a collaborative approach is the right path to the right solution.

      ??We hold our suppliers to the highest standards and do not tolerate animal mistreatment.

      ??We are currently engaged with pork suppliers, food safety experts and other organizations to work towards an industry-wide model that is not only respectful of farmers and animals, but also meets our customers?? expectations for quality and animal safety.??

      Thanks and please let me know if you have any questions.