The UK animal rights organisation Animal Justice Project has made public a three months investigation of Bickmarsh Hall, a Red Tractor-approved mega-farm in Warwickshire, England. This farm exploits 8,000 pigs for Cranswick Country Foods, which supplies supermarkets such as Tesco, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons.
The footage obtained by the animal rights group shows a piglet shivering while laying on a concrete floor and left to suffer for 13 hours while being trodden on and bitten by other piglets before a member of staff intervened. It also shows another pig with a bloody rectal prolapse being cannibalised by other pigs for five hours. Other pigs unable to walk presumably because of lameness were also recorded. Workers were seen slapping and kicking pigs, and Animal Justice Project claims that an electric goad was illegally used.
Dr Alice Brough, a former pig veterinarian turned animal rights campaigner, said: “This farm is the epitome of squalor, and unfortunately represents the norm for a large proportion of Britain’s pig farms. Pigs are forced to live in filthy, wet, bare concrete pens, completely covered in their own urine and faeces with no respite. These are naturally extremely hygienic animals, and these cramped, dirty and very poorly enriched conditions are undoubtedly causing both physiological and psychological damage.”
Claire Palmer, Animal Justice Project’s founder, said to Plant Based News the following: “We sent our findings to the government as we always do. Sadly, however, even when faced with the most blatant law breaking within farms and slaughterhouses, the response is always unsatisfactory. The general narrative varies very little – there is an ‘investigation,’ maybe a suspension, or maybe blame is put on the infiltrators. Sometimes there is nothing at all from the authorities. In all cases, the exploitation and abuse continue.”