APPEAL: WE GO UNDERCOVER TO EXPOSE SHOCKING CRUELTY AT MORRISONS SUPPLIER
Battery cages for hens have disgusted people for years. So when our undercover investigators entered a windowless shed of a Yorkshire pig farm they were shocked. Facing them were little piglets stacked in three tiers of what appeared to be battery cages.
Piglets are fun loving and highly intelligent but in this place they had nothing to do but watch our investigators with sad, curious eyes. A dangling metal chain was their only ‘environmental enrichment’.
It is almost impossible to describe my emotions when I look into the eyes of little creatures whose life so far has been nothing but abuse. And when I look at their mothers and see desperation staring back at me, I know that nothing is going to change without us. All they will ever know is pain, frustration and incomprehension. This is mass animal cruelty with a seal of approval on it.
Poplar Farm near Hull, where we filmed these cages, is not a ‘bad apple’ but a large mainstream operation and is probably not breaking the law. What’s more, they have been inspected and approved by the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Scheme – a cynical device for marketing suffering!
Twice we went onto this farm and twice filmed young animals that had fallen from these decrepit cages onto the hard concrete floor. One sheltered beneath the cages, shivering uncontrollably and close to death. Ripped from his mother at a few weeks old, he would die alone.
Eventually, these battery piglets would be moved to ‘grower’ pens where the conditions were little better – barren, faeces-strewn hovels. Some stared at us as if to say: “What have we done to be here?”
After all these years, farrowing crates still shock us. Mothering sows are locked in metal crates so small they can’t even turn around for five weeks at a time. To save their piglets’ lives, says the industry, yet dead and dying piglets littered the crates.
We watched one sow at Poplar Farm fighting pitifully to get to her dying baby but the bars prevented her. The mental anguish of a mother unable to comfort her young is unimaginable.
These sows are returned regularly to the impregnation sheds – a conveyor belt of forced pregnancies. We saw 20 or more, again trapped in tiny metal crates, unable to escape the swarm of flies that enveloped them. Fear and depression were clear in their eyes while deafening, tinny pop music blared out as they waited.
Poplar Farm supplies its own business, East Riding Country Pork, who supply Morrisons supermarkets and farmers’ markets. It boasts of ‘high animal welfare’ and ‘24 hour maternity care’ and, believe it or not, were runners up at the 2014 National Pig Awards.
The awful scenes we filmed here are commonplace across Britain. As I write this, I have just returned from a farm that was even worse. However, our exposés are working – people are changing their diet and pig meat consumption is falling. And that it is why we have to keep going, exposing what really happens behind the closed doors of these hell holes. Viva!’s campaigns and your support are a winning combination.
And that’s why your continuing help is vital. We have more shocking exposés to release over the next couple of months but we can’t relax – for the sake of the animals we have to keep showing the worst excess of British animal farming. We need you to join this campaign and help our push to end factory farming.
These new images really haunt us as we know they will you but they are the impetus that drives us on – together.
We have to fund more investigations and buy the latest equipment to satisfy media demands and reach the millions of people who can accelerate the changes that are happening. We are working around the clock to place media stories and have exciting plans for social media – but unfortunately it all costs money and we have no one to turn to but you.
If these images disgust you then please, please support us with a donation. No matter how small or large, it will be wisely spent. Also, please join us in a major door-dropping campaign to show people that, no, you can’t trust the Tractor. Order your new leaflets from us today. Please do it for the piglets.
Together we are stronger. Together we can end suffering.
Yours for the animals
Undercover investigation by Viva! Campaigns Ltd