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Charges dismissed against activist who recorded Iowa Select Farms workers killing hogs

Prosecutors dropped trespassing charges against an activist who recorded employees using heat to euthanize pigs at the request of the state's largest pork producer.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Prosecutors have dropped trespassing charges against an activist who secretly recorded Iowa’s largest pork producer using heat to kill hundreds of pigs last year as the pandemic devastated the industry. 

Matt Johnson, an activist with the group Direct Action Everywhere, had been scheduled to stand trial Monday in Grundy County, on two counts of trespassing at Iowa Select Farms properties. 

County prosecutors dismissed the charges Thursday at the request of Iowa Select, whose personnel had been subpoenaed to testify. 

A company spokeswoman says it “cannot be distracted by individuals who choose to break the law and grandstand.” 

Johnson is an Iowa native who now lives in Berkeley, California. He says the company is “desperate to conceal their abhorrent and criminal conduct."

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