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FULTON - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants Callaway County prosecutor to  file criminal charges against Central Missouri Meat and Sausage, saying a worker shot a pig three times in the head.

It sent a letter Thursday morning with documents from the USDA detailing the incident.

The documents said, after the worker shot the pig with a handhold pistol, the pig screamed in pain and was shot two more times.

PETA said the worker's conduct might violate an abuse statute in Missouri, which prohibits a person from purposefully causing injury or suffering to an animal.

Cruelty investigations attorney Melissa Wilson said, "Pigs, and other animals you find in slaughterhouses are no less deserving of our compassion than dogs or cats. They're intelligent animals that have the same capacity for pain, both physical and emotional, as humans."

A manager at Central Missouri Meat and Sausage said the investigation is unwarranted.

"The writer of this report has altered the facts to promote their cause of turning the world vegan," the company said in a statement. 

The company said a firearm was only used because the electrical equipment that is normally used to stun the pigs was not functioning on the day of the USDA inspection.

Central Missouri Meat and Sausage said everything that took place on the day of the incident was up to its standards and humane to the animals. 

KOMU 8 News reached out to the Callaway County prosocutor's office, but it declined to comment until the elected prosecutor Chris Wilson is back in the office next week.