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Squalor, Misery, Disease and Death: the reality of British pig farms
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Old Codger
2008-04-16 16:16:25 UTC
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Squalor, Misery, Disease and Death: the reality of British pig farms
Last week, Animal Aid visited a typical pig farm in order to compare
the welfare standards we found with those claimed by the pig farming
industry in recent weeks. The conditions we witnessed are a world away
from those featured in the ‘Pigs Are Worth It’ campaign.

A dead sow was dumped outside the units, while row upon row of new
mothers lay trapped in filthy, barren farrowing crates, barely able to
move. Bin bags containing dead piglets and stillborn litters swept up
with the trash lay alongside dustbins overflowing with discarded
veterinary products. This is the reality of British pig farms and it
is a disgrace. And still pig farmers claim we have the ‘best animal
welfare standards in the world’. That would be funny if the reality
wasn’t so tragic.


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Squalor, Misery, Disease and Death: the reality of British pig farms
Posted 14 April 2008
http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_factory/ALL/1768//
Last week, Animal Aid visited a typical pig farm in order to compare
the welfare standards we found with those claimed by the pig farming
industry in recent weeks. The conditions we witnessed are a world away
from those featured in the ‘Pigs Are Worth It’ campaign.*

In the squalid farrowing unit, rows of new mothers were trapped inside
metal crates with no room to even turn around or take a step forward.
They were able to stand in one position only or lay on the dirty
concrete floor. No bedding was afforded these poor creatures. Some
carried wounds. The piglets could reach their mother’s teats but they
could not be nurtured.

A chart in the farrowing unit tallied the dead.

The ‘fattening unit’ was similarly filthy and barren. Here, large
groups of young pigs lived and slept in a small concrete cell on a
bare, slatted floor with no bedding. By law, pigs must be offered
manipulable materials to keep their active young minds stimulated.
These animals were given a single metal chain, which hung from the
ceiling. Some animals were lame, and one young gilt was barely able to
walk.

Dumped outside lay a dead sow. On opening bin bags, we found dead and
stillborn piglets who had simply been swept up along with the litter.

No animal could survive such appalling conditions unaided, and these
pigs are no exception. Evidence of the massive array of drugs with
which they are dosed was found in bins overflowing with empty
veterinary bottles and used syringes. They included vaccines and drugs
to treat enzootic pneumonia, wasting syndrome, coccidiosis, swine
erysipelas, Lawsonia intracellularis and Porcine Reproductive &
Respiratory Syndrome. Farmers can administer these to pigs right up
until slaughter, indicating that residues may be ingested when the
pigs’ meat is eaten.

Says Animal Aid Head of Campaigns, Kate Fowler-Reeves:


‘While pig farmers bemoan their lot and beg the public to ‘Save our
Bacon’, pigs are suffering untold horrors on British pig farms. The
images presented by the industry do not remotely resemble the
conditions we have witnessed in the years we have been investigating
pig farms. At the most recent – a typically atrocious farm – a dead
sow was dumped outside the units, while row upon row of new mothers
lay trapped in filthy, barren farrowing crates, barely able to move.
Bin bags containing dead piglets and stillborn litters swept up with
the trash lay alongside dustbins overflowing with discarded veterinary
products. This is the reality of British pig farms and it is a
disgrace. And still pig farmers claim we have the ‘best animal welfare
standards in the world’. That would be funny if the reality wasn’t so
tragic.’

*In the autumn of 2007, the British Pig Executive ran an advertising
campaign to encourage consumers to buy British pig meat. One advert
that was placed in several national newspapers stated: ‘Pig farmers in
the UK already face higher costs than those in Europe, largely due to
our higher standards of pig welfare.’ The advert shows a
healthy-looking pig in a straw-filled pen out in the sunshine. A
second advert, which also ran nationally, shows pigs living outside
under a huge sky. The text reads: ‘The logo at the bottom of this
page, the Pigmeat Quality Standards Mark, is proof that farmers care
about the welfare of their animals.’

In January 2008, the £1.5 million ‘Save our Bacon’ campaign was
launched by Waitrose and Farmers Weekly, and supported by the British
Pig Executive and celebrity chefs.
Old Codger
2008-04-16 17:41:27 UTC
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On Wed, 16 Apr 2008 18:36:45 +0100, "Pat Gardiner"
Post by Old Codger
Squalor, Misery, Disease and Death: the reality of British pig farms
Last week, Animal Aid visited a typical pig farm in order to compare
the welfare standards we found with those claimed by the pig farming
industry in recent weeks. The conditions we witnessed are a world away
from those featured in the 'Pigs Are Worth It' campaign.
A dead sow was dumped outside the units, while row upon row of new
mothers lay trapped in filthy, barren farrowing crates, barely able to
move. Bin bags containing dead piglets and stillborn litters swept up
with the trash lay alongside dustbins overflowing with discarded
veterinary products. This is the reality of British pig farms and it
is a disgrace. And still pig farmers claim we have the 'best animal
welfare standards in the world'. That would be funny if the reality
wasn't so tragic.
snip detail<
I have been wondering how to reply to this in a constructive unemotional
way. The photos tell their own story. It is hard.
I think the wisest thing is to confine my comments to two areas where I have
knowledge.
1. The advertising is directly controlled by the government (Defra). They
will deny that, but they refused to allow the industry to elect the chairman
of BPEX, insisting on an appointee of theirs and the advertising is paid
for by the levy, the collection of which is authorised by legislation. So
the industry pays, the government decides.
BPEX has a history of misleading advertising and falling foul of the
Advertising Standards Authority.
I was, as you know a serious businessman with quite a substantial
advertising budget, and the advertising is a complete waste of money. If we
still had pigs, I would be going crazy at the thought of paying for all this
nonsense.
It is what I call ego-stroking. Designed to keep the pig farmers quiet
rather than doing anything to keep their costs down and sales up.
2. On the assumption that the pictures and the story are reasonably accurate
and recent, the pictures of the discarded drug packaging tells the story.
The pigs are sick. They have been sick since 1999 and the epidemic
continuing to this very day has been covered up by Britain's corrupt State
Veterinary Service.
Because the pigs are sick (with a newly mutated disease) they have to be
stuffed full of antibiotics to keep them alive. The human risks are
multiple. Is the disease dangerous to humans? Is the action taken to keep
the pigs alive dangerous? Do the pigs have MRSA (the Canadians and Dutch
pigs do.) as a result of all the antibiotics being used?
The government vets have refused to test British pigs for MRSA. The Food
Standards Agency won't test the pork. The NHS won't test pig and pork
workers at the hospital door. Countries with pigs and MRSA like Denmark test
their workers and have little or no problems with MRSA in their hospitals.
3. The vets were so keen to cover it up, that as long ago as 2000 they were
threatening anyone that gave evidence to a Select Committee criticising the
State Veterinary Service. They were so keen they employed a former acting
colonel of the SAS to come to our home. The subsequent internal
investigation was a cover-up with the Scottish Executive investigating
criminal offences committed by Westminster vets in England. That is illegal.
It took OLAF - the serious fraud squad of the EU - to raid a government
office before we got them off our back. Britain was subsequently fined 600
million Pounds for various offences during this period covering a range of
irregularities.
Obviously now MRSA has entered the picture there is total panic in Defra.
They could not even get a replacement Chief Vet. Nobody wants the job. Can
you blame them? They know they are going to be caught and prosecuted
probably at an international Court (They will also have exported sick pigs
with clean health certificates.)
Anyway they have to so something about the pigs very quickly. The situation
of MRSA in pigs and pork is running out of control in Canada and the US,
with 25,000 piglets being culled every week, because the Americans won't buy
Canadian pigs or pork, after a new labelling regulation comes in which
identifies it as Canadian.
It is a mess and getting worse by the day. Some days, I wake up, shake my
head, and wonder just what kind of a country we live in.
I do not know how people can do such bad things and still keep going to
work.
I gave up shaking my head when it fell off long ago. I'm stunned at
the depths Britain has descended.
Old Codger
2008-04-16 21:59:34 UTC
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Old Codger wrote:

Not a word of it. Pete the troll is forging posts in my name. Twice in
this thread so far and also the "Horse Racing" post at 1723 today
Post by Old Codger
I gave up shaking my head when it fell off long ago.
That might explain a lot. However,

As Pete never reads what he posts and desires only to provoke argument
it is safest to assume that anything he espouses is at least unsafe and
probably malicious.
--
Old Codger
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What matters in politics is not what happens, but what you can make
people believe has happened. [Janet Daley 27/8/2003]
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