A sickening video from a Warwickshire pig farm has been released this weekend by Viva!, an animal welfare organisation. The shocking video shows the conditions of approximately 15,000 pigs housed at Hogwood Pig Unit, Warwickshire.
The undercover footage shows the shocking conditions of the animals including overcrowding, deformity and carcases of animals left on the floors of the filthy sheds. In one particularly distressing part of the film, pigs are seen to be eating the corpse of dead pigs, not a natural behaviour for pigs.
Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) guidelines state dead animals should be removed from the living and diseased animals should be kept in isolation. Despite this, the video shows skulls and bones in the sheds.
Clearly, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) are failing to protect the welfare of animals in agriculture in Britain. Viva! have previously requested information from APHA regarding animal conditions in farms. The APHA responded with a letter stating; ‘APHA believe that withholding the information outweighs that of the public’s interest in the right to know.’
APHA have also referred to the farmers in question as ‘customers’ raising questions around the impartiality of APHA and if it has a vested interest in the finances of the farms.
Founder & Director of Viva!, Juliet Gellatley, who investigated the conditions at the farm herself, described the scenes she witnessed:
“Pigs were so tightly crammed into a disgustingly dirty industrial unit that it was hard to walk through them. Many were covered in lacerations and all were smeared in filth. In another shed, pigs were kept in groups in bare concrete cells with slatted wooden gangways. There was the cynical addition of a chain with plastic sheathing for biting hung limply, its novelty value long gone. This is to meet the government’s pathetic recommendations on ‘environmental enrichment’! No straw, no bedding, just harsh, soiled floors, concrete walls and a life filled with utter boredom, frustration and no outlet for those active, intelligent, inquisitive minds. This, it is claimed, are the best animal welfare conditions in the world.
“I witnessed a mother giving birth on to an unforgiving, concrete floor. She was trapped inside a metal crate. This is a legal device used across Britain’s factory farms. I believe anyone with a heart seeing the state of the animals in today’s modern farms would want factory farming to end. Hogwood Farm typifies large scale institutionalised cruelty, sanctioned by government and it must end.”
Viva! has reported their footage to the local Animal Health Office and are asking the public to sign their petition.
The footage can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeJemNLPAwI