Can you ‘trust the tractor’?
Not if our latest investigation is anything to go by …
Viva! investigators have filmed at a farm that boast of Red Tractor accreditation and produces 20,000 pigs a year for supermarkets, such as Morrisons, and local businesses as East Riding Country Pork. What our cameras found will shock you. Watch the footage for yourself and ask: can I trust the tractor?
What we found behind the doors of Poplar Pig Farm, nr Hull:
Piglets in barren wire ‘battery cages’ stacked three deep. The only so-called ‘environmental enrichment’ was a metal chain hanging in a metal cage. Piglets are playful, intelligent and curious. Battery cages were banned for hens in the UK in 2012 (although so called enriched cages are hardly better). What’s the difference?
The cages were seemingly so insecure that some piglets had fallen onto the concrete floor. Piglets were seen on the floor on both visits.
We saw desperate sows, covered in flies, confined to metal cages in the insemination room. To keep the shelves of British supermarkets stocked sows are forcibly impregnated again and again.
The farm claims “24 hour maternity care” for mother and piglets, but what that really means is confining nursing sows to metal ‘farrowing crates’. 70 per cent of British sows are trapped in these around twice a year for up to five weeks at a time. These mothers are unable to fully nurse their piglets and can’t even turn around. Most of the time they couldn't even reach their dead and dying piglets. Incredibly, these torture devices are still legal in this country.
What we found at Poplar Farm shocked us, but we’ve seen many British pig farms over the last 20 years and we've seen suffering on all of them.
Don’t wait for laws to change. If these images upset you do something about it now. The best way to free pigs – and all farmed animals – from suffering is to simply stop eating animal products. The best way to do that is to go vegan.
What does the Red Tractor scheme actually do?
Far from ensuring higher welfare it simply guarantees food is British and legal, but little else. Natural weaning age for pigs is between 12 and 15 but on Red Tractor farms it’s just 3-4 weeks. It allows painful mutilations such as tail-docking and teeth-grinding of piglets under 72 hours old without anaesthetic. It also allows the use of farrowing crates where sows cannot even turn around for five weeks a time.
Undercover investigation by Viva! Campaigns Ltd