The results of undercover investigations by Animal Rebellion Ireland (ARI) and the National Animal Rights Association (NARA) on two Irish pig farms have been made public with claims that these farms were responsible for “severe animal cruelty, neglect and environmental pollution”.

The footage was purportedly taken in January 2024 and given to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) of the Republic of Ireland, which said it would investigate the “alleged breaches” of pig welfare requirements raised by the activists “following receipt of any evidence”, and take “appropriate action” where non-compliance or poor welfare is identified.

Laura Broxson, NARA spokesperson, said to Agriland, “We want the entire pig industry shut down, and not over a lengthy transitional period. It needs to be shut down immediately…There were many pigs and piglets sick and injured. Some were biting the bars of their pens repeatedly, which is a stress-induced stereotypical behaviour…We were expecting it to be bad, but we were not fully prepared for the horrors we witnessed…If dogs and cats were kept in such conditions, there would be national outrage, legal prosecutions, and immediate changes in legislation to prohibit its continuance.”

In a statement provided to Agriland, the DAFM said, “Irish pig farms are subject to national and European pig welfare regulations, and department officials regularly inspect pig farms on that basis. The department has a number of initiatives to support improvements in pig welfare, including pig welfare action plans which the pig sector has engaged with. And the provision of grants through the department’s [Targeted Agriculture Modernisation Schemes] TAMS programme to support higher-welfare buildings and infrastructure on farms.”

Exposés of the animal agricultural industry such as this one are very common in other countries, and invariably each investigation has shown examples of what can be described as animal neglect or abuse, showing that it is not a matter of applying particular standards of animal welfare, but an intrinsic problem of animal farming. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.