Shocking conditions on five award-winning farms have been exposed by an undercover investigation released by Animal Aid just in time for the annual Farmer of the Year Awards being hosted in London this week.
The footage was obtained on farms that supposedly meet the highest standards in the industry, but shows “dead and dying chickens packed into massive sheds; diseased pigs barely able to walk; crowded, filthy pens; and cows kept all-year-round in barren ‘zero-grazing’ units.”
“Many people want to believe that, as long as animals have a good life and a humane death, it is acceptable to eat their flesh, eggs and milk. But if the very ‘best farmers in the country’ are unable to meet this basic test, what hope is there for animals reared on the thousands of farms that don’t win prizes?” said Animal Aid Campaigner and report author Ben Martin.
The farms covered in the investigation include:
- Twinwood Pig Unit, Bedfordshire. Finalist: Pig Farmer of the Year 2010 (Images).
- F J Bosworth & Sons, Essex. Winner: Pig Farmer of the Year 2011, 2nd place: Overall Farmer of the Year 2011 (Images).
- Steanbow Farms, Somerset. Finalist: Dairy Farmer of the Year 2012 (Images).
- Sunny Hill Free Range Eggs, Northumberland. Finalist: Poultry Farmer of the Year 2011 (Images).
- Rerrick Park Farm, Dumfries & Galloway. Finalist: Dairy Farmer of the Year 2011 (Images).
F J Bosworth & Sons supplies pigs to Cheale Meats, where two workers received prison time for sadistically abusing pigs in their care as a result of a previous undercover investigation by Animal Aid.
“Past Animal Aid on-farm investigations exposing high levels of squalor, neglect and disease have usually been dismissed by industry spokespeople as unrepresentative ‘bad-apples’. The same, clearly, cannot be said of the subjects of the new exposé. Following on from several years of investigations into a wide range of different animal farms, Animal Aid is convinced that these industry-commended establishments point to a ‘race to the bottom,’ with animal welfare counting for near zero against the drive for profits,” the organization said in a statement.
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