LAND O'LAKES — A Pasco County Sheriff's Office investigation has found no evidence of animal abuse at the pig farm run by county jail inmates.
The investigation was sparked by allegations made earlier this month by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which cited anonymous reports that pigs were being cut up with tools and bashed with rocks.
Det. Sergio Soto of the Major Crimes Unit interviewed deputies and inmates who praised the program and refuted allegations of mistreatment. The veterinarian who has cared for the hogs since 2001 said the program provides "immaculate" treatment of the livestock, which are raised to provide food for the inmates.
Visiting the farm at the Land O'Lakes jail on March 4, Soto wrote, "I did not observe any signs of injured, distressed or malnourished hogs. Furthermore, I did not observe large rocks or farming tools which could be used to injure the livestock."
He determined the allegations unfounded and closed the case.