VIVA! MEDIA RELEASE
The "Inconvenient Truth" About British Pig Farming
11th November 2008
Despair and neglect exposed on Dorchester farm
APPALLING scenes of suffering, neglect and potential law breaking in a pig farm near Dorchester have been exposed, representing the real farming crisis, claim a leading animal campaigning group.
Farmers plea the case for the struggling pig industry in a recent film "An Inconvenient Trough". But Viva! investigators uncovered the "inconvenient truth" about animals in crisis farmers would rather keep quiet - piles of decomposing piglets, and pigs, crammed into concrete pens with little or no enrichment.
Undercover footage shot on Bourne Farm, Piddlehinton, shows dead and rotting piglets inside units; sows imprisoned in metal crates little bigger than their bodies; pigs kept in barren concrete pens with no bedding; piglets huddled together, shivering; dying piglets left to suffer, alone.
The group also believes they have uncovered potential law breaking on the farm, owned by Allen Hanford Ltd, which Defra is currently investigating*
Footage from the investigation can be viewed here.
Over the past two years, Viva! has visited dozens of pig farms across Britain and documented cruel and unhealthy methods of production which, it says, will shock most consumers. Chosen entirely at random, the units exposed are typical of UK pig farms generally and reveal a picture of filth, overcrowding, dead and dying animals and widespread neglect.
Justin Kerswell, Viva!'s campaigns manager, says: "In its recent film the pig industry appeals for sympathy over feed price struggles, while boasting some of the best animal welfare in the world. Yet everywhere we point the camera we see filth, suffering and neglect, which is the real crisis. It is time they stopped conning the public with meaningless assurances and hyperbole and owned up to the gruesome reality of pig production in the UK.
"The footage we shot inside the farm is shocking and repugnant, but it?s sadly typical of what we expect to find right across the country when welfare is barely given a thought. We hope that the authorities will take our concerns seriously and prosecute if they find the law has been broken. Sadly, prosecutions for cruelty are rare.
"However, this is the reality of British pig farming. If you buy sausages or bacon it is likely that it will come from places like these. Thankfully consumers can do something about this. It's not about buying foreign vs. buying British. We urge everyone to give all pig meat the push and go vegetarian - that's the only sure way to stop the suffering."