Animal Equality has carried out an undercover investigation into East Anglian Pig Company, which is the third largest pig meat producer of the UK. EAP is a member of Freedom Food and is audited and monitored by Assured Food Standards (AFS). Over 120 hours of footage and recorded conversations, as well as 281 photos, provide a truly shocking insight into the so called high standards of the British pig industry.
The Animal Equality investigator documented the misery of pigs at The East Anglian Pig Company, specifically:
• Sickly piglets were killed by blunt force trauma. These animals were grasped by their hind limbs and brutally whipped head-first multiple times against a hard surface. In some instances, where the animals did not die following the blunt force head trauma, a worker tried to suffocate the piglets by placing his hand on the animal’s muzzle and then placing his foot over the throat.
• Extreme confinement within sow stalls and farrowing crates resulted in the pigs being subject to extreme movement restrictions, as they were unable to turn around.
• Stereotypies were readily observed. Female pigs were frequently observed bar-biting, and one pig demonstrated excessive swaying behaviour.
• Pigs appeared to suffer significant injuries. Deep abrasions were evident on the backs of some individuals, and several piglets were lame or paraplegic, probably as a result of spinal trauma.
• Piglets appeared to have abrasions and ulcerative lesions on their joints. Such wounds can lead to secondary infections as a result of bacterial and ammonia contamination from the environment, further perpetuating the condition.
• Several dead piglets were present in the farrowing crates, most likely to be the result of crushing from their mothers.
• Piglets were beaten in the head with an iron bar, and an adult lame pig was shown with a twine muzzle over the snout. The animal was struggling and clearly suffering.
• Several amputated tail segments were observed as a result of tail docking, which was carried out as a routine procedure. Tail docking in commercial piggery units is normally performed on young piglets without the use of anesthetic and can be a highly painful procedure.
•Workers moved adult pigs by kicking them and one female pig was repeatedly slapped and punched across her sensitive muzzle and head.
• Weaners were thrown aggressively around by their fragile limbs.
•A worker grabbed an adult pig by his tail for restraint whilst cutting and hacking the caudal thigh. The animal was not afforded any sedation or anesthesia.