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Filmed Pig Abuse Calls Humane Labels into Question

Filmed Pig Abuse Calls Humane Labels into Question
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We’ve seen similar footage before. This time the appalling scenes of animal abuse come from two farms that raise pigs for a company certified by Red Tractor and by the RSPCA (Freedom Food label). The labels assure consumers the animals were treated humanely.

The video footage below was released by Animal Equality, an activist group whose undercover investigation of two “pig units” set off a furor involving Red Tractor, the RSPCA, and the East Anglian Pig Company (who own the Little Thorns Weaner Unit and the Didlington Piggery investigated by the activists).

After the month-long undercover operation, Animal Equality spent another three months sifting through the evidence before making it public. As soon as it was notified, the RSPCA visited the Little Thorns Weaner Unit and has been following up. They withdrew their Freedom Food designation from Little Thorns (Didlington was not certified) but according to Animal Equality are not planning to prosecute.

The RSPCA criticized Animal Equality for not providing them with the footage before going to the media and for taking four months to make it public.

This concerns us greatly. It is vital that if anybody or any organisation has concerns about animal welfare that they inform us immediately, otherwise they could potentially be allowing continued suffering.

Red Tractor was equally incensed and published this statement:

It is entirely inappropriate that we should learn about welfare concerns months after the alleged events took place. If anyone has any concerns they should always inform an appropriate authority immediately. Failure to do so has the potential to be a serious breach of animal welfare.

The Red Tractor scheme does not tolerate any animal mistreatment.  Any contravention of our standards can result in the immediate suspension from the Red Tractor scheme.

Red Tractor Assurance has already reviewed its systems since a similar incident two months ago.

The East Anglian Pig Company’s Web site is “Under construction” so carries no official position. However, the newspaper EDP24 reported the staff involved in the abuse are facing disciplinary action. The company condemned the abuse and said, “The RSPCA has confirmed that there are no grounds for prosection.”

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Photos of Little Thorns provided by Animal Equality; third photo from Thinkstock

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149 comments

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12:28AM PDT on Aug 31, 2012

k

11:28AM PDT on Jun 20, 2012

Thanks.

2:15PM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

RSPCA and RED TRACTOR wanted to see videos not to help the animals but to hide the facts and alter evidence If they cared Little thorns would be heavily penalized and shut down Disgusting

8:46PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

I had to stop the video early on to keep from vomiting. I know this type of work attracts people with a high level of aggression but this is revolting. You can bet they treat their fellow humans with the same disrespect they show the animals. They can't penalize these two companies enough to make up for what these workers have done to helpless animals.

11:02AM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

Just heartbreaking!!! How can these people laugh while they are torturing an innocent, terrified animal, who has no where to run? It is beyond my comprehension the pleasure they take in commiting these hanous crimes against intelligent creatures. My God, please, someone help stop this madness. This is evil at it's best and it needs to stop. Please everyone, stop eating meat, dairy, fish and eggs. Make the compassionate choice and help end the suffering of billions of farm animals. God bless!

6:32AM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

I already posted my comment, but forgot about one thing I've noticed about EACH & EVERY one of these 'handlers' & abusers-it's the look of enthusiasm & nearly all out joy on the faces of these creeps! I'll bet my last dollar that these guys also beat their girlfriends & wives!

9:58PM PDT on May 31, 2012

Signed & Shared on Facebook.

12:12PM PDT on May 23, 2012

"When will this stop. The scum that can do this to these innocent animals need to be held accountable for their actions. What kind of person can do this?"

Linda, this will only stop when people cease to raise animals for food and other products and treat them like the feeling, sentient beings that they are. as farmed animals, they have virtually ZERO protection under the law and are considered property.

please watch www.meatvideo.com if you would like to see the truth behind the standard practices of animal agriculture on both factory and so called "small family farms".


10:57AM PDT on May 23, 2012

Discusting and heart-breaking to se. These sick individuals should be locked away forever. Maybe the torture they inflicted on these helpless animals should be done to them!!!

9:07PM PDT on May 22, 2012

When will this stop. The scum that can do this to these innocent animals need to be held accountable for their actions. What kind of person can do this? They should NEVER be allowed to get away with this. A message needs to be sent that cruelty to animals will be punished to the max, it is not acceptable to do this to an animal or a human. They are sadistic, I guess it is so easy for them to do to an animal because they can't call for help or call 911. We need to be the voice for them and not let people get away with this anymore.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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