I thought our exposé of farms in Italy and Spain revealed some of the worst abuses of pigs in the European Union.
I was wrong.
Our latest investigation in the Republic of Ireland uncovers the most blatant breaches of EU law I have ever seen.
This Spring, our investigators visited five pig farms in Cork, Waterford and Kerry. The conditions were beyond our worst expectations. Every farm we visited flouted the law and neglected their animals.
For example, our investigators found:
- Pigs living in pens inches deep in excrement
- Fly infestations due to the filthy conditions
- Severe injuries caused by fighting
- Widespread tail docking
- Open wounds caused by tail-biting
- Bored pigs chewing dead animals left in their pens
- Weak and emaciated pigs left to die in corridors
- Pigs in ‘hospital pens’ apparently just abandoned to die
- ‘Dead bins’ full of pigs of all ages.
I fear the conditions on these farms represent a large section of the Irish pig farming industry.
Ironically, as these investigations were taking place, Ireland held the EU Presidency. During their tenure, the Irish Government made a show of taking the lead on animal welfare. But some of the most horrific cruelty Compassion has ever revealed was going on under their nose!
We have written directly to the Irish Government demanding they act to enforce the law. We also provided details of the farms involved to the authorities so they can take action against the farmers responsible for these illegal practices.
As 75% of Irish pig meat is exported, and 30% of that is destined for the UK, this is not an issue that affects only Irish consumers. So, we also wrote to the British government. We urged them to ensure all Irish pork products entering the UK reach minimum EU regulations and pressure Ireland to stop these abuses immediately. We also raised this issue with the European Commission and with Members of the European Parliament who introduced and supported, respectively, the legislation that is being so clearly breached.
There are two actions I must ask you to take.
First, send a clear message to Simon Coveney, the Irish Minister for Agriculture, demanding that he put a stop to this cruel abuse of pigs.
Second, sign our petition calling on all 27 EU Member States to ensure the Pigs Directive is fully enforced in every EU nation. More than 168,000 people have signed already!
Italy, Spain, Ireland — it’s clear the EU Pigs Directive is not being implemented and enforced. It’s heartbreaking we keep finding farms in the EU breaking the law and causing so much pain and distress to animals in their care.
Please tell your friends about our investigations. If you share our outrage at the suffering inflicted on these animals, then please help spread the word and raise awareness of the horror behind the closed doors of intensive pig farms.