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BAYARD, Iowa --
Greene County Sheriff Tom Heater said he’s wasting no time interviewing employees identified in a video depicting animal abuse at an Iowa hog farm and hopes to wrap up his investigation in about a week.
Heater said the undercover video from People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals will be a key piece of evidence in the investigation of the hog farm near Bayard. Heater said the graphic images make a pretty compelling case.
“It’s evidence that’ll help us greatly,” he said. “Everything was cross-filed with it so that we could actually look at the tape and then go right to the report and actually see what happened.”
Investigators have already begun questioning employees at the farm, including some who were identified in the video. Heater said some of them could be charged with animal cruelty, but it’s too soon to say that for sure.
“What we’ll have to do is decide, like I say, the severity of each incident,” he said. “Some people seem to be involved possibly in multiple incidents. We’ll probably looks at those first.”
Charges could be filed in a week or two, Heater said.
Minnesota-based MowMar recently took over ownership of the farm and said it will have a zero-tolerance policy on workers abusing animals.
Heater said the company has fully cooperated with the investigation. Undercover PETA investigators shot the video while working at the facility. For that reason, Heater said, there should be few questions about the legality of the tape.
“From everything we’ve looked at so far with the prosecutor, we don’t see a problem with the evidence, the way it was obtained,” he said.
Heater said his office will also be interviewing the undercover investigators for PETA who shot the video.

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