Shocking scenes of cruelty have emerged showing the violent killing of piglets at an Eaton Bray pig farm.
Animal Equality – a leading animal protection organisation – today released the footage filmed at Rosebury Farm. The farm supplies meat to major retailers, as well as butchers.
Animal Equality UK executive director Dr Toni Shephard said: “The sound of piglets’ heads being smashed against the wall, the cries of agony as their tiny teeth are clipped, and the terrified squeals of pigs being forced onto the slaughter truck with electric shocks could be straight out of a horror film.
“Yet these harrowing scenes are from the much romanticised local, family farm producing British pork under the Red Tractor label [part of Assured Food Standards agency].
The harrowing footage, which was filmed over the past three months, shows:
> A worker swinging tiny piglets by a back leg and smashing their head against the wall, one continues to kick for at least 10 seconds.
> Piglets screaming in agony as the tips of their tiny teeth are clipped off without pain relief, a mutilation restricted to ‘extreme circumstances only’ under UK law.
> Terrified pigs being shocked repeatedly with an electric prod to force them onto the slaughter truck, many are prodded in the side and neck in violation of the law.
> A tiny piglet frothing at the mouth, having been thrown onto a pile of dead piglets and left for dead hours earlier.
> Dozens of dead piglets littering the floor of the farrowing (birthing) shed as well as piglets trapped in crates with dead siblings.
> Larger pigs crammed into barren metal pens so small they are forced to lie on top of each other in record-breaking high temperatures.
> Other pigs locked inside filthy, wooden bins with lids that leave them in total darkness, no enrichment is provided.
Dr Shepherd added: “It’s time consumers were told the truth - labels and certificates do not prevent animals from suffering in the meat industry, but choosing from the ever-increasing selection of meat-free options will.”
Veterinary expert Professor Andrew Knight from the University of Winchester’s Centre for Animal Welfare also viewed the footage and confirmed that it showed “inhumane handling and killing of piglets” as well as “excessive and inappropriate use of an electric prod likely to cause pain and fear.”
All of the footage was passed to Red Tractor, Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency and the RSPCA last week. Red Tractor has suspended the farm pending further investigation.