Horrific abuse of pigs has once again been exposed by Mercy for Animals Canada in an undercover investigation of a Puratone Corp. farm in Alborg, Manitoba, which was chosen at random.
The footage was obtained by an undercover investigator over a three-month period that began at the end of the summer and shows multiple problems ranging from downer pigs being kicked and pulled by their ears to get them to walk and piglets being slammed into the ground and being left to die slowly to pregnant sows being left with untreated prolapses and open wounds and pressure sores caused by rubbing against the bars of their gestation crates.
“Every single day our investigator identified issues of absolutely horrific animal cruelty,” Stéphane Perrais, Mercy for Animals Canada’s director of operations told the Montreal Gazette, who noted that the group believes the problems seen during this investigation are common on farms around the country.
Mercy for Animals Canada was established this summer and is a sister organization of the U.S. based Mercy for Animals. The group is now calling on major grocery stores that sell Puratone products, including WalMart, Sobeys, Superstore/Loblaws and Metro food stores, to require their suppliers to phase out gestation crates.
“While many of the standard industry practices uncovered at this pig factory farm are needlessly cruel, subjecting animals to a lifetime of confinement in crates so small they are virtually immobilized is perhaps the worst form of institutionalized animal abuse in existence. A growing number of animal welfare experts opposes the use of gestation crates, concluding what common sense should have told us all along: animals with legs should have room to move,” stated the group.
Puratone issued a statement saying they are “disturbed by some of the images, shown in the video taken in one of our farming sites, which do not reflect our animal welfare policy and principles” and that they have launched an investigation.
The U.S. based Center for Food Integrity had an independent Animal Care Review Panel, comprised of three experts, review the footage at the request of the Canadian pork council. The panel concluded that, “while some of the animal handling practices shown are improper, most of what is seen are widely considered acceptable and humane.”
The acceptable standard industry practices depicted include castrating and tail docking piglets without the use of painkillers and using blunt force trauma as a form of euthanasia. Slamming piglets into the ground to kill them is perfectly alright and, by some standards, humane.
Mercy for Animals Canada will continue to work to expose cruelty to animals and is also working to remind consumers about the power we have to end animal suffering by making compassionate food choices and passing on animal products.
Please sign the petition asking Manitoba Pork to commit to phasing out gestation crates by 2017
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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