Embargoed until 00.01 Wed 25/6/3
ACTIVISTS PROTEST AT APPALLING CONDITIONS FILMED ON LOCAL
A new undercover video released by vegetarian campaign
group Viva! shows shocking conditions on three Norfolk pig
farms. The footage, featuring diseased, dead and filthy animals
kept in squalid conditions, was all filmed this year and exposes
the suffering of breeding sows kept in farrowing crates -
metal cages to which they are confined before and after giving
birth to their piglets.
Local campaigners will be protesting outside Hilltop Farm,
Church St, Horsford
nr Norwich at 11.00 on Wed 25th June.
Contact: Alistair Currie (Viva!) 0117 944 1000
Giles Robins (local) 07833 770592
The video was compiled from undercover filming on pig farms
across the UK over the last year. Three farms were filmed
in Norfolk, AR Brooks (Hilltop Farm) of Horsford, nr Norwich,
Post Office Farm, Suffield, nr Cromer and Kettle Brig Farm
at Aylsham. All were filmed in February of this year. In the
case of AR Brooks, Viva! was so disturbed by the footage sent
by our investigator that we immediately lodged complaints
with the State Veterinary Service, about the condition of
a pig with an ulcerated prolapse, and Norfolk Trading Standards,
about unburied carcasses. No action was taken by either authority.
The 12 minute video is designed to highlight the welfare
problems caused by the farrowing crate nationwide: other footage
shows more dead and diseased animals, squalid and dilapidated
conditions, pigs showing signs of chronic mental distress,
decomposing piglets, lame sows and poor conditions for other
Viva! campaigner, Alistair Currie, says: "Even hardened
animal rights campaigners such as myself and our undercover
cameraman were shocked by the footage we obtained in Norfolk:
it is the worst we have seen in many years. The fact that
the State Veterinary Service and Norfolk Trading Standards
took no action speaks volumes about the appalling standards
which are considered acceptable on British factory farms.
But without films like the kind we have undertaken, no one
who had never set foot on a pig farm would know the truth.
Breeding sows not only have their incredibly powerful maternal
instincts frustrated by the use of the barbaric farrowing
crate, they suffer imprisonment, physical trauma and horrifying
degradation - all to shave a few pennies off the price of
meat. We urge consumers to do what the authorities and politicians
won't: end factory farming by boycotting its products and
Local campaigner Giles Robins said: "I was horrified
by this footage - and deeply saddened that the worst of it
was filmed in Norfolk. It seems hard to believe that this
kind of animal suffering is still tolerated in the 21st century.
It's vital that people know that the price of meat is this
kind of animal suffering."
Notes for Editors
All farms were entered without causing damage. Biosecurity
precautions were observed by our investigators.
The farrowing crate is used for about 80 per cent of the
UK's approximately 500,000 breeding sows. They are confined
to the crate from seven days before the birth of their piglets
until the piglets are weaned 21 to 28 days later.
The farrowing crate is similar to the sow stall - in which
sows were confined and tethered for the duration of their
pregnancies - which was banned in the UK in 1999 and has now
been banned in Europe.