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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.
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