Caught on camera: Alleged abuse of pigs at Australia farm

Caught on camera: Alleged abuse of pigs at Australia farm
PHOTO: Facebook/ Animal Liberation NSW

Kicked. Beaten. Ridden on while being artificially inseminated.

That is allegedly how some 450 pigs at a piggery in the north of Adelaide, Australia, are being treated as graphic footage released by an animal rights group revealed.

Footage that was anonymously sent to Animal Liberation New South Wales (NSW) showed workers kicking the pigs, at times even in their faces, beating them with paddles and riding on them while they were being artificially inseminated.

The footage was taken from cameras that were secretly installed at the facility in 2015 and 2016, animal rights group said on its website.

ABC News reported that RSPCA South Australia confirmed that they are investigating the practices carried out at the piggery.

"It just looks absolutely horrendous, it looks like hell on earth," said Animnal Liberation NSW campaign director, Emma Hurst, in an ABC News report.

"There's sick and dying pigs inside the shed, there's pigs that can't stand on all of their legs."

One sow was reportedly found in a pool of urine and faeces for at least two days after it had fallen into the waste pit.

Ms Hurst said that footage, taken a couple of days later, showed that workers did not make any attempt to save her.

If not for RSPCA's rescue, the sow would have starved to death, according to Ms Hurst.

In addition, the 5m 30sec clip also showed piglets being tossed around and their ears were pierced with multiple holes after being clipped allegedly without pain relief.

The footage, which reveals the conditions in which the pigs live in, also shows pigs ripped into pieces and scattered all over the floor.

Ms Hurst also told ABC News that sick and injured pigs were dumped outside the compound in a pile of decomposing carcasses.

She believes that there are about 100 pigs in the pit. Some of them were shot in the head, while others had their throats slit.

The animal rights group claims on its website that the pigs are dumped once they are considered too weak to continue breeding.

According to Ms Hurst, this is not the only rogue operator, but such practices are common industry wide.

However, Australian Pork Limited has issued a statement on Mar 2 saying that the company and the broader pig farming industry does not tolerate animal cruelty in any form, and will support investigation of and any sanction imposed should any pork producer be proven to have not adhered to the required animal welfare standards.

"The practices shown in the video are not representative of the Australian pork industry and we can assure all domestic and international consumers of Australian pork that we are working closely with the relevant authorities in this case.

"Australia's pig farmers understand high quality, high value pork products start with a healthy pig and excellence in animal care, and have made significant investment in research as an industry to support and develop a world-leading system that assures product integrity for consumers," it added.

It seems the pig breeding industry is not the only one under spotlight for their alleged poor treatment of animals.

An undercover video by US animal advocacy organisation Animal Equality captures the - supposedly disturbing - journey of newborn chicks from incubation to slaughter houses.

UK publication Express reported that the rare footage reveals what the meat industry does not want consumers to see.

In an unidentified factory, chicks are packed in trays, then tossed onto conveyor belts together with their shells as they go under machines that squish them in the process.

Unwanted chicks and shells would be sorted and thrown into bins where they would be consolidated into larger trash bins before a worker manually uses an apparatus to crush egg shells, incidentally crushing any chicks that may still be alive in the pile.

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The rest of the 'survivors' are then vaccinated and transported to fattening farms before they are sent to slaughter houses once they are 40 days old, reported Express.

maryanns@sph.com.sg

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