The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


March 12, 2013

Animal-rights group brings protest to Joplin Wal-Mart

JOPLIN, Mo. — Two members of Los Angeles-based animal-rights group Mercy for Animals on Tuesday brought its protest to the Seventh Street Wal-Mart, using a 10-foot inflatable pig with a sad look on its face.

“The hidden cost of Wal-Mart’s cheap pork is egregious animal cruelty,” said Phil Letten, national campaign manager for the group. He said the protest was meant to highlight Wal-Mart’s continued use of pork producers who use what the group calls gestation crates. He said pregnant sows remain in the crates, the size of which don’t allow the  animals to turn around or move.

Wal-Mart corporate spokeswoman Danit Marquardt said in a phone conversation that the issue was more complicated that what the protesters presented.

“We hold our suppliers to the highest standards and do not tolerate animal mistreatment,” she said.

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A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

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