The inaction of MAFF - a Viva! test case
In 1999, Viva! decided to do a test case - to see if any of
the authorites would act to change the conditions at Newham
farm, Sancreed, Cornwall. We had visited the farm on four
occasions between April and June 1999 and complained to:
Ben Bradshaw, Farm Animal Welfare Minister, MAFF
Rachel Ewer, County Councillor - St Just, Cornwall County
Edwin Curnow, Animal Health Officer, Trading Standards, Cornwall
Mrs R Mills, Environmental Health Officer, Penwith District
Mrs Jan Kelly, State Veterinary Service
Ms Joanna Fitzgerald, Health & Safety Executive
The following letter, along with video and photographic evidence
was sent to Ben Bradshaw:
Farm Animal Welfare Minister
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
6 July 1999
Dear Ben Bradshaw
Re: Intensive Pig Farming
In many standard letters sent to the public regarding our
Pig In Hell campaign, MAFF states that the UK has some of
the strictest legislation in the EU protecting the welfare
of pigs and that the industry has taken steps to ensure
high welfare standards on farms by setting up quality
assurance schemes. Unfortunately, our work continues
to show that MAFFs statements are misleading and investigative
evidence proves that UK pig farms are often a disgrace.
I have enclosed one example of a typical intensive pig farm
- Newham Farm, nr Sancreed, Penzance. To set the record straight
for our supporters and the public, please would you provide
your views of this farm. Do you find the conditions generally
Below, I have set out where we believe this particular farm
is breaking the law and these points have been sent to the
SVS. However, as members of the public contact yourself directly,
and as MAFF has accused Viva! of painting an unfair
representation of Britains pig farms; please set
out your views on the conditions at Newham Farm.
Newham Farm is, we believe, breaking the 1994 (2126) Animals
- Prevention of Cruelty - The Welfare of Livestock Regulations
and MAFF Codes of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock
- Pigs with regards to the welfare of the pigs on its premises.
We are also concerned at the state of neglect on the farm
in terms of hygiene, health and safety.
Viva! was given photographic, written and video evidence of
Newham Farm taken on 20 April 1999 between 20.17 and 21.07
and 9 May 1999; we were so concerned that we investigated
Newham Farm and gained further photographic, written and video
evidence on 6 June 1999 between 5.30am and 6.58am.
In this letter we refer to footage taken at Newham Farm on:
20 April 1999 as Video 1
6 June 1999 as Video 2
9 May 1999 as Video 3
We are writing to request that MAFF follow up this evidence
and prosecute the owner of Newham Farm and ensures that the
conditions are considerably improved, or the unit closed.
The video evidence shows that the owner of Newham Farm is
breaking the 1994 (2126) Animals - Prevention of Cruelty -
The Welfare of Livestock Regulations in the following ways:
1. The law states that dust levels must be kept within limits
which do not harm pigs. Investigators state and video footage
shows that dust levels are extremely high - particularly in
the first building shown on Video 2 where dust is clearly
visible floating throughout the shed.
The law also states that gas concentrations must be kept within
limits which do not harm pigs; however excreta is not regularly
cleaned from pens and slatted dunging areas are often blocked,
thus posing a hazard in terms of hygiene and welfare.
2. The law states that pigs must not be kept permanently in
darkness. We are concerned that pigs in those buildings with
no natural lighting are kept in permanent darkness. Video
footage (building 1 in both video 1 and video 2 and building
2 in video 1) shows that these units are very dark during
3. Video 1 shows live parts of electrics to be exposed, posing
a health and safety risk. An open fuse box is shown in this
video and investigators witnessed loose hanging wires throughout
4. Video 2 shows sick/injured animals housed with the main
herd. By law, sick or injured pigs should be housed separately
in comfortable conditions.
5. The law states that pigs should have a clean space in which
to rest. Newham Farm clearly does not provide clean lying
areas in many of the pens.
In video 1, building 2, no pigs were seen to have a clean
lying area and all pens were filthy in the extreme. (Other
examples are included in point 6 below.)
6. The 1994 Regulations state that housing pens, pens and
equipment used for pigs must be properly cleansed and disinfected
to prevent cross-infection and the build-up of disease-carrying
organisms and faeces and urine must be removed as often as
necessary to minimise smell and avoid attracting flies or
Newham Farm breaches these regulations in every building seen.
In video 1 (building 2) the unit has a narrow gangway between
pens. The gangway is several inches deep in water and dirt
(footage shows the investigators feet sloshing around). The
pens are also filthy: the floors are inches deep in urine
and faeces and some are flooded with water. They contain no
bedding material. Old bits of straw can be seen on the outside
of pens but the straw has not been replaced and the pens not
cleaned in several weeks or more. The walls and ceiling are
unbelievably dirty and cobwebs cover every inch of space.
Video 2, building 1 also clearly shows that Newham Farm is
breaking the law in terms of providing clean housing and lying
areas. Footage shows that the ceiling is extremely filthy
- hanging in dirt and cobwebs. Dust levels are very high.
The concrete walls of the pens (housing groups of fattening
pigs) are filthy. The pigs are covered in urine and faeces
and not provided with any bedding material.
The weaners lying areas on the area below (area 1 of
building 1) are also covered in dirt, faeces and urine. Their
dunging area is blocked in most pens and so excreta is not
draining away. These piglets are also given no straw or any
The gangway on the upper floor (area 2 of building 1) is deep
In the pens with the open sow stalls (video 2, building 1,
area 3), the pigs are on dirty concrete floors, with no bedding
and covered in faeces.
Video 2 also shows a farrowing shed (building 3) with sows
and piglets in farrowing crates. This building is also breaking
these regulations. The building is filled with flies. The
owner of Newham farm clearly does NOT cleanse housing or remove
dead animals in time to avoid attracting flies and rodents.
Footage in this building shows a dead rat - left for what
appears several days. Investigators saw 10 or more live rats
on entry into building 1 and several live rats in the yard
on their visit on June 6. Other investigators saw several
live rats on their visit on April 20. It also shows several
dead piglets, one of which is black and others which have
clearly been dead for days. A suckling sow is covered in flies
as one of her dead - and now putrefying - offspring has not
been removed from the crate she is in; living piglets are
seen examining their dead sibling.
7. In this farrowing building, another sow is about to give
birth. She is covered in faeces. The law states that sows
placed in crates shall be thoroughly cleaned.
This is certainly not the case at Newham Farm.
8. The law also states that gilts and sows between weaning
their piglets and the perinatal period shall be provided with
a clean, adequately drained, comfortable lying area and shall,
if necessary, be given suitable nesting material. Newham
Farm breaches these regulations. Video 2 clearly shows that
sows in farrowing crates are not given comfortable lying areas
- they are on concrete, surrounded by metal bars and given
Video 2 (building 4) and video 1 (also of building 4) show
that the lying area for mothers and piglets has become sodden
in urine and faeces. Footage shows a mother lying - and covered
- in excreta and another sow with her piglets sleeping next
to her, all lying in a faeces and urine.
9. The law states: Where pigs are kept in a building
they shall be kept on, or have access at all times to, a lying
area which is clean, comfortable and does not adversely affect
them, and is well-drained or well maintained with dry bedding.
Where bedding is provided, this must be clean, dry and not
harmful to the pigs.
Newham Farm breaks the law on all these points. All buildings
filmed clearly demonstrate that no animals have clean lying
areas; as already mentioned above, lying areas are usually
filthy. Pens are not regularly cleaned and animals are often
lying in their own excreta. Video 1, building 2 shows pigs
in appalling conditions - there is no bedding; the pens are
wet with water and excreta; lying areas are filthy; the pens
are not well-drained or well-maintained. Video 2, building
1 also shows pens which are not well-drained with animals
with excreta on them.
10. The Regulations state that all pigs must have access to
straw or other material to satisfy behavioural needs. No fattening
pens or farrowing crates contained straw or any other bedding
on either the April or June visit. The only evidence of bedding
having ever been provided were in the farrowing pens and some
old, urine-soaked straw, in gangways. One empty farrowing
pen had sawdust in it; however sows with piglets housed in
such pens were not cleaned out. The sawdust had become completely
sodden with urine and faeces and the animals covered in excreta
(see videos 1 and 2, building 4).
11. The law states that boars must have clean resting areas.
Lying areas must be dry and comfortable. Boars were kept in
filthy pens with no dry lying areas and no bedding. Their
pens were not well-drained or well maintained. (Video 1, building
12. The law states that piglets should be provided with a
heat source if necessary. Piglets in the farrowing shed (video
2, building 3 with farrowing crates) appeared to have no working
heat source when filmed. An old, broken lamp was seen by one
Photographic evidence and video 3 shows uncovered carcasses
which had been left for some weeks and months outside on Newham
Farm, about 20 metres from a silo. The carcasses are completely
exposed and wild and domestic animals and children can very
easily reach them. Footage and photos show carcasses which
have rotted to skeletons and some which are partially decomposed
(one animal being approx. half bones, half flesh).
Complaints were made to Trading Standards in April 1999 and
although carcasses were fully exposed in video 3, filmed on
9 May 1999, subsequently the carcasses were covered with earth.
However, on 6 June 1999, carcasses were seen to be showing
through the earth. (Rain had washed off the earth so that
two of the carcasses were exposed.) Again, the owner of Newham
Farm has breached the law (eg Dogs Act 1906) in not disposing
of the carcasses properly. We are extremely concerned at the
potential health hazard caused by the behaviour of the owner
of Newham Farm.
We look forward to hearing from you shortly regarding what
actions you take in answer to the above concerns.
Director - Viva!
Viva! backed up its evidence with a statement from an ex-MAFF
vet with 27 years experience with pigs. He stated:
The overall impression...is one of squalor, degradation,
neglect, bad hygiene and bad animal welfare. The buildings
appear to be dilapidated and unsafe; the surroundings are
cluttered, unkempt, flood with surface water and unhygienic.
The response from Ben Bradshaw was that the allegations were
unfounded. None of the other authorities took action either,
except for Trading Standards which stated in a letter to Viva!:
certain improvements have been made at Newham Farm.
There are no plans, at present, to take more formal enforcement
Ben Bradshaw tried to blame part of his departments
inaction on the fact that Viva! took one month to send all
the evidence to MAFF.
Juliet Gellatley of Viva! replied: Im pleased
to hear that your investigations are continuing but am concerned
at your implication that because one month had lapsed between
the last footage taken and your staff seeing it that conditions
at Newham Farm had changed considerably. Many of the examples
I pointed out in my letter of 6 July relate to long term neglect.
Still MAFF took no action.
Newham Farm revisited
One year after our complaint to MAFF et al, Viva! revisited
Newham Farm. Conditions were no better.
One sow held captive in a farrowing crate was - literally
- smothered in flies and haemorrhaging badly from her vulva
into the pen. The blood was caked on her hind quarters and
newly-born piglets suckled alongside the large pool of blood.
We immediately complained to Trading Standards Animal Health
Officer but the outcome was confidential.
We saw a large bin filled with rotting dead piglets amid a
sea of writhing maggots. In an an indoor shed piglets were
in darkened, filthy and barren pens, devoid of bedding. They
were heavily soiled with faeces. In one pen, two dead piglets
had been left in with their living siblings. A large dead
pig littered the gangway alongside a foraging rat.
MAFF says there is nothing wrong with Newham farm. Viva! hopes
that by filming the units, the media and public will make
up their own minds as to whether the law is satisfactory and
whether MAFF is fit to enforce it. Or indeed whether factory
farms should be banned.
Appendix 2 - The Law
Watch Viva!s Pig In Hell footage of 18 pig units (copies
available from Viva!) and you may be concerned about the lack
of legal protection for pigs. It is Viva!s view that the
law is weak and ineffective and that MAFF do not enforce what
regulations there are.
Examples from the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations 2000
· All pigs should be inspected once a day
· Sick or injured pigs shall, where necessary, be isolated
with dry comfortable bedding
· A pig shall be able to turn around at all times (and
no more is legal) - with the exception of sows in farrowing
· The dimension of the pigs cell shall be such
that the internal area is not less than the square of the
length of the pig and no internal side is less than 75% of
the length of the pig
· Pigs should not be kept permanently in darkness. Throughout
the hours of daylight the level of indoor lighting, natural
or artificial should be such that all housed pigs can be seen
· Pigs must have a clean place to rest that is comfortable
and is well-drained
· Bedding does not have to be provided, but if it is
must be clean and dry
· Housing, pens, equipment must be properly cleaned
· Faeces and urine must be removed frequently to minimise
smell and avoid attracting rodents and flies
· Floors should provide maximum comfort for the pig
to lie, stand and walk.
· When placed in farrowing crates, sows and gilts must
be thoroughly clean
· Gilts and sows between weaning their piglets and prenatal
period shall have clean, drained, comfortable lying are (giving
nesting material is not required)
· Piglets must be provided with a heat source and dry,
comfortable lying area away from the sow
· Tail docking and tooth clipping are legal so long
as it is shown that without mutilating the pigs, they would
tail bite or injure the sows teats
· Piglets can be weaned from three weeks onwards
· Rearing pigs will have minimum space of:
Space Weight of pig
0.2 sq. m 10 to 20 kg
0.55 sq. m 50 to 85 kg
1 sq. m more than 110kg
· MAFF recommends the use of bedding for all breeding stock.
However they recommended this in the 1983 Codes when sow stalls
were legal and no bedding at all was provided to the majority
of pregnant sows. An illustration of the extent to which MAFF's
codes are followed.
· Carcasses should be disposed of by eg incineration for
small pigs; placing in a pit in which microbial digestion can
occur. It may be built from a large diameter concrete pipe with
earth floor and airtight lid. Pigs should not be left dead in
their pens, in the gangways or in open pits.
Appendix 3 - Meat and breeds
The aim of the pig industry in all cases is to produce a lean
carcass. Most of the fat in a pig is found subcutaneously (under
the skin) and this has led to the development of payment schemes
for carcasses based on subcutaneous fat measurements (eg 12
probe means that the pig has 12mm of subcutaneous back fat),
weight and in the case of bacon pigs, a minimum length.
When pigs are killed for bacon:
The head including brain, trotters, tail, testicles, offal etc
are processed into pre-packed meat i.e. American style ham,
sandwich meats, sausage and convenience products (it also goes
into lamb, beef and turkey processed foods).
The forelegs, neck and back legs may be used for roast joints.
The remaining carcass is tubular in shape and goes to a bacon
processing plant where blades strip the meat off.
Bones and scraps go for pet food or MRM (mechanically recovered
meat used in processed foods).
Pork pigs are 14 probe (14mm back fat) whereas bacon pigs are
10-12 probe. With pork pigs the head, feet, tail, offals go
for processing to pre-packed meat; the rest is chopped and sent
to wholesalers 'fresh'.
There are three main breeds of pig in Britain: Large White,
Landrace and Welsh. Breed differences are not obvious other
than the fact that the Whites ears are pricked up whereas the
other two point forward. The Large White is usually viewed as
being more prolific and faster growing with a 'better quality
Several other UK breeds eg British Saddleback, Tamworth, Gloucester
Old Spot and Large Black are also bred to a much smaller extent,
often in outdoor free range systems.
About 75 % of UK pigs have been cross bred, because these 'perform
better'. Animal production academic, Lean states:
"Traditionally, commercial producers crossed only two breeds
of pig, eg the Large White and Landrace, to produce high quality
piglets which showed the beneficial effect of hybrid vigour.
Pig breeding companies have improved in this technique by selecting
high performance lines from various pure breeds and combining
them.... The resources of a large breeding company allow considerable
control of all aspects of selection and guarantee the producer
high performance animals at all times." (1)
Some companies specialise in breeding pigs and they are considered
specialists in the field. They supply genetically 'improved'
pigs to multipliers and commercial producers and so new genetic
lines percolate the whole industry. The biggest company in Europe
is PIC (Pig Improvement Company.)
These specialist breeders now supply a considerable proportion
of gilts to the commercial producers.
Appendix 4 - Description of Viva!s
footage of 18 pig farms
Viva! filmed 18 pig farms (video available from Viva!) in the
following 11 counties:
Cornwall, Devon, E Sussex, Humberside, Kent, Merseyside, Northants,
Oxon, Somerset, Suffolk, Worcs
None of the units shown were specially chosen to show poor animal
welfare standards. They were selected simply because we were
able to walk inside without forcing entry and film them. There
is nothing exceptional about these farms and they fairly reflect
standards throughout the industry as a whole. That must be so
because the complaints Viva! has registered against several
of them with various Government departments have all been dismissed.
Much of what you see in this footage is legal (though in Viva!s
opinion, not all). The recommendations governing farm animal
welfare are so loosely drawn that it would be difficult to break
the law! However, legal or not, we believe that what is shown
in this footage is widespread, institutionalised animal cruelty.
The pig industry divides pigs into breeding stock and fattening
stock. The fattening stock are reared for meat. In the region
of 99% of all UK fattening pigs are industrially farmed.Therefore,
almost all of the pig meat on sale is a product of intensive,
factory farming. The amount of free range meat is so small that
the Meat and Livestock Commission cannot provide figures for
it. The animals which are reared outdoors are almost exclusively
breeding sows - about 30 per cent of all breeding sows (however,
their piglets are taken to factory farms). The remaining 70
per cent are reared indoors in severely restricted intensive
Most indoor sows are forced to give birth in farrowing crates
- metal-barred contraptions which hold them captive for up to
28 days at a time, preventing them from even turning around.
The frustration caused by these cruel devices can lead to the
mental collapse of highly intelligent animals.
Almost all piglets are removed from their mothers at just three
weeks old - before they can digest solid foods - and are reared
in indoor, intensive units where they live until slaughter at
five or six months old. They are given drugs throughout most
of their life.
This is the true face of pig farming in the UK today and the
scenes in this video have to be set against the rhetoric of
the farming and meat industries - and that of the Government
The video opens with scenes of how pigs would naturally live
- if they had the opportunity. They have highly developed senses
of smell, touch and taste. They see in colour, dream and can
walk as much as 15 kilometres in a day. Play is essential to
Unit 1 - Rynehill Farm, Kingham, Oxon.
Scene 1. Is of grower pigs in a concrete enclosure.
They have a covered, indoor sleeping area and a wooden-slatted,
outdoor dunging area with swill troughs. The pigs are wet and
covered from head to toe in filth - their own excreta. Excreta
has pooled on the slats and the sleeping area is concrete, devoid
of all bedding and also wet with excreta.
Scene 2. This shows an entirely indoor pen of what appears to
be fattening pigs. There is little daylight (although
it is sunny outside), no sign of bedding and the space appears
to be filthy and so restricted that the animals have enough
room to lie down but little else. There is no environmental
enrichment, no straw, no outdoor access and nothing to do.
Scene 3. The farm is revisited three months later and nothing
appears to have changed. Paperwork shows that the farmer is
contracted to Thames Valley Pigs, one of the UKs biggest
producers, and the resulting meat carries the quality assurance
stamp Farm Assured British Pigs.
Unit 2 - Newham Farm. Sancreed, Cornwall
Scene 1. Opens at night with a dead pig in the water-soaked
Scene 2. Returning in daylight, the dead pig can be clearly
seen in a yard which looks like a junk yard. In a nearby field,
a shallow scrape out of the soil has been used as a dump for
other dead pigs - about a dozen in all - in various stages of
Scene 3. A large windowless barn provides housing for pigs of
all ages on two levels. Although bright daylight outside, so
little light penetrates the building that illumination is dependent
entirely upon the camera lights. Stocking densities are high
but there is no sign of bedding.
Scene 4. Old sow stalls are shown. Although the restraining
devices which held the sows captive have been removed, little
else appears to have changed. Space for the animals outside
of the stalls is limited and no bedding is provided.
Scene 5. Farrowing crates are shown with heavily pregnant sows
about to give birth directly into their own excreta. In other
pens, several dead and decaying piglets are shown still in the
pens with their living siblings and mother.
The footage was shown to an independent vet with 27 years experience
of pigs. His opinion was : The overall impression is of
squalor, degradation, neglect, bad hygiene and bad animal welfare.
We lodged a complaint with eight different bodies, including
the Health and Safety Executive, Trading Standards, State Veterinary
Service and Farm Animal Welfare Minister, Ben Bradshaw. He and
all the others dismissed the complaints.
Scene 6. We return to the farm 12 months later to record any
changes in conditions. The opening scene is of a sow held captive
in a farrowing crate. She is - literally - smothered in flies
and haemorrhaging badly from her vulva into the pen. The blood
is caked on her hind quarters and newly-born piglets suckle
alongside the large pool of blood. We complained to Trading
Standards Animal Health Officer but the outcome was confidential.
Scene 7. We show one source of the fly infestation - a large
bin filled with rotting dead piglets amid a sea of writhing
Scene 8. We return to an indoor shed to show piglets in darkened,
filthy and barren pens, devoid of all bedding. They are heavily
soiled with faeces. In one pen, two dead piglets have been left
in with their living siblings. A large dead pig litters the
gangway alongside a foraging rat. A top shot of grower pigs
again shows, dark, barren and dirty pens stocked to very high
Unit 3 - Porthbean Farm, Coverack, Cornwall.
Scene 1. Exterior shot of semi-dilapidated pens, part covered
and part open.
Scene 2. A pen with wooden slatted floor presenting an image
of filth and wetness. One pig has a distended stomach rupture.
Scene 3. A pen awash with what appears to be water and excrement.
All animals are dirty. There is no sign of dry lying areas nor
Scene 4. Farrowing crates showing an imprisoned mother with
a sore and inflamed stomach, with piglets scrambling over her
to suckle. One has an inflamed and closed eye. Another is incapable
of walking and shuffles along - clearly not a viable piglet
but left with the herd.
Scene 5. Three piglets in a barren pen, one of which is little
more than skin and bone. It appears to be not far from death
and is in a pitiful state.
Scene 6. Grime-caked containers holding used hypodermics and
We lodged a complaint against this farm with the State Veterinary
Service but the outcome was confidential.
Scene 7. We return to the farm six months later to film any
possible changes in the conditions. In a mud-plastered yard,
dead pigs have been abandoned and have started to decay.
Unit 4 - Grange Farm, Tannington, Suffolk
Scene 1. Shows similar conditions to many other intensive factory
farms but in this instance, the pig man in charge informed Viva!
that the farm had RSPCA Freedom Food approval. We have no means
of checking this as membership of the Freedom Food scheme is
a closely-guarded secret. No list of approved farms is issued
to the public nor to the trustees of the RSPCA itself.
Grower pigs are covered with their own excreta and live in barren
pens devoid of all environmental enrichment. The internal bedding
area once contained a small amount of straw but it appears to
have been trampled into a sodden mass and no longer seems to
provide a dry lying area.
Unit 5 - Mear Farm, Hannington, Northants
Another RSPCA Freedom Food unit - only this time we were able
to confirm it. Gangways are thick with mud and water and the
animals - all of which are dirty - are kept in barren metal
pens with the flooring awash with water and excreta. Food hoppers
are entirely empty and there is no sign of a dry lying area.
Our complaints to the RSPCA and Government about the conditions
at this farm were dismissed. Eventually the farm was closed
but not through any action of the RSPCA.
Unit 6 - Somerset farm
Footage opens with a series of shots inside a farrowing unit.
Several sows are confined in the crates - metalled-barred prisons
- none of whom appear to have any bedding. Dead piglets litter
Piglets are shown in large metal bins held inside a shed.
Footage of pregnant sows reveals what was once a shed full of
sow stalls. Having now been made illegal, all that seems to
have changed is that the backs of the stall have been removed
to allow the sows a little more freedom - very little! The sows
have to still lie in the stalls because there is insufficient
space. It is a filthy area of concrete floors, dirt and no bedding.
Unit 7 - Edneys Farm, Mells, Somerset
Further footage of farrowing crates reveals a closed shed and
almost impenetrable darkness (it is light outside). Sows lie
behind iron bars on solid concrete floors with no bedding of
any kind. Excreta piles up behind them as they lie immobilised.
Their piglets try to suckle with no bedding as comfort.
Footage of weaners shows what is rapidly becoming the industry
standard - flat deck systems. Here, piglets just a few weeks
old live on perforated metal floors - no bedding, no enrichment,
nothing to do and not even a separate bedding area. There is
not a strand of straw in sight. The conditions in which grower
pigs - the next stage in the cycle - are, if anything, even
more depressing. Crowded, darkened, barren pens with nothing
to interest them and no ability to fulfil their natural instincts.
A dead pig has been abandoned in the gangway.
Unit 8 - Church Farm, Aldringham, Suffolk
The scene opens on what appears to be a near-derelict farm yard
and cuts to pregnant sows in a tiny, filthy concrete pen - again
no sign of bedding or a separate dry lying area.
It cuts to the interior of a farrowing shed in almost total
darkness, illuminated only by the camera lights. Rows of sows
are help captive in metal stalls. In one stall, two new-born
piglets shiver uncontrollably. One sow repeatedly bites the
bars of her stall in a repeated motion. This is stereotypic
behaviour - a sign of mental collapse.
Unit 9 - Woodside Farm, Postling, Kent
Again, barren pens and darkness. Concrete pens have small, barred
open areas which are probably meant to be for dunging. However,
all are awash with a filthy black liquid in which the pigs have
to stand. Our investigators said it was not rainwater but stinking
slurry from an overflowing lagoon. The animals are covered in
filth. Our complaint to the government was dismissed and months
later nothing had changed.
Unit 10 - Blagdon Farm, Hartland Point, Devon
The scene opens with filthy pigs in a concrete enclosure and
cuts to an animal with swollen testicles. In one small area
there are three pigs who are in severe difficulties and incapable
of walking. Amongst the filthy animals is one with a grossly
distended rupture. Some straw is provided but it is hardly generous.
Unit 11 - Devon Farm
Another barren pen crowded with filthy animals - no bedding
and no enrichment. These are swill pigs and liquid fed - boiled
up kitchen waste is fed automatically into the pens. The pigs
sensitive snouts, designed for rooting, are rendered redundant.
The animals are all excessively filthy and the pens are wet,
covered in excreta and offer no comfort of any kind - not even
a dry lying area. A lame pig is left with the main herd.
Unit 12 - Appledown Farm, Kingsdown, Kent
More animals covered in filth - almost certainly excreta. Again
our complaint to the Government was dismissed.
Unit 13 - Somerset Farm
Crowded grower pigs on a barren, wooden-slatted floor. One animal
has a raw and bloodied ear, almost certainly the result of having
been bitten by its colleagues. They continue to worry at the
wound. In almost total darkness, sows have been left to farrow
onto a floor deep in excreta. The new born piglets share their
cell with other sows waiting to give birth and are clearly at
risk in these conditions.
Unit 14 - Pig Improvement Company, near Hull, Humberside
Despite being one of the countrys biggest producers, production
methods are the same as elsewhere - metal-barred farrowing crates
and an absence of bedding.
Unit 15 - Pig Improvement Company, Honeybourne, Worcs
Again the industry standard - crowded flat-deck systems with
no bedding, nothing to interest the little animals and no ability
to fulfil even the most basic natural instincts.
Unit 16 - Somerset Unit
More rows of flat-deck systems but with a seriously ill pig
abandoned in the gangway to die.
Unit 17 - Heyfield Farm, Ditchling, E. Sussex
More filthy pigs covered in excreta.
Unit 18 - Midland Pig Producers, Downholland, Merseyside
Another big producer and again the flat-deck system - barren
pens with perforated metal floors.