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More footage of pig abuse in UK farms

News Section Icon Published 24/04/2012

Yet again Compassion in World Farming has been left appalled and sickened by investigative footage released by an animals rights organisation.

Animal Equality reports that investigators spent time at two farms that are part of the East Anglian Pig Company, and what they found is truly shocking. The Sunday Mirror published the findings here.

Time and again animal welfare organisations find evidence not just of farms failing to meet basic legislation, but of sheer animal abuse and horrific cruelty.

In this investigation footage farm workers are seen inflicting pain, torturing and tormenting the pigs and piglets at these farms.

Abuse includes:

  • Pigs hit with iron bars
  • Piglets swung round by their hind limbs and their heads smashed against surfaces
  • Piglets left to convulse and die slowly on the floor
  • Dead piglets left in farrowing crates, most likely having been crushed by the mother sow.
  • Adult pigs moved by workers kicking and hitting them

The farms are both given the stamp of approval by farm assurance schemes Red Tractor and RSPCA's Freedom Food. Although Compassion has criticised Red Tractor in the past, we were surprised to find that despite Freedom Food's strict standards, this level of abuse still went on and we turn now to DEFRA to take action.

Most schemes only audit once a year, or less frequently, and mostly their audits are announced. We would recommend that audits need to be more frequent and unannounced to avoid farm workers preparing for the visits and not giving a true impression of the standards.

Training and thorough vetting of staff is of vital importance, as well as good oversight from farm managers and owners.

Compassion is concerned that, despite the footage being recorded some months ago, it has only just been released and its findings were not reported sooner. Compassion would urge anyone who witnesses, or suspects, any form of animal cruelty to contact the RSPCA or a similar organisation as soon as possible.

Compassion is pleased that the RSPCA have begun investigations into the farms and we urge DEFRA to take this matter seriously and to prosecute those involved for the laws they have broken.


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