Investigators say pigs were beaten, kept in mutilated condition, at a French farm involving Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrison, Asda and Iceland.
It has been claimed that undercover footage shows some animals suffering from traumatic hernias “as big as a football”, and all were considered a “last resort” by the World Health Organization.
The animals on the 20,000-pig farm are supplied to the Herta brand, which sells frankfurters in five of the UK’s major supermarkets.
The company, 40 percent owned by Nestle, claims to be “more respectful of the environment and animal welfare.”
But the secret video, shot by French activists, reveals farmers breaking a series of welfare laws.
Weak piglets considered unprofitable were apparently slammed to the floor, where those who did not die immediately were said to be in agony.
The pigs were kept in sow stalls which are illegal in the UK as they prevent the animals from roaming.
A worker was seen “attacking a caged pig that was moaning in pain”.
Last year, Waitrose abandoned all Huerta products after it was exposed to “tragic” situations, including pig cannibalism due to overcrowding.
Killing piglets on concrete floors also happens in the UK. Earlier this year, Tesco said it was leaving a “high welfare” Aberdeenshire supplier after a criminal investigation was launched into why the pigs were put to death.
This time, hidden cameras were installed on a farm in northern France for more than two months by animal-welfare group L214, which is filing complaints against it for animal abuse and abuse.
The footage appears to show:
- animals living on concrete floor
- Pigs “covered with feces”
- Bonnies so small they can’t move around in stalls – legal in France but banned in the UK
- Sick or Injured Animals With Hernias “As Big as a Football”
- Animals gnaw on metal bars in desperation
- sows and pigs are beaten
- Piglets biting their tails without anesthetic – routinely done against the rules
- Piglet’s teeth being cut with pliers
- Male piglets are castrated without anaesthetic by tearing the tissue, which is restricted
- The decomposing bodies were dragged and dumped in the fly-infested dump.
Investigators said it was clear that many of the animals were in pain.
Other illegal practices reportedly include pregnant sows in cages that do not have permanent access to water; Animals that have no root material, and tools and floors are filthy.
Activists said they found the farm was using the antibiotic colistin of “last resort,” which Waitrose and Marks & Spencer had banned in their supply chain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says its use in pig farms contributes to an increase in antibiotic resistance.
Apramycin and lincomycin were also being used, which are defined by the WHO as “critical” and “high importance”, respectively.
Herta says its suppliers are “committed with us to improve farming conditions”.
“This is the second time the footage has exposed the depravity and neglect behind Herta’s promises of high welfare,” said Conor Jackson, chief executive of Open Cage.
He said UK retailers’ lack of vigilance allowed low-welfare imports, and consumers were unknowingly buying meat from animals that were “beaten, tortured and loaded with antibiotics”.
“Watroz did the right thing by dropping Huerta, and we are urging Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda and Iceland to do the same.
“Animal welfare is not a top priority for these companies selling animal products raised under illegal conditions in the UK.”
He has been accused of mistreatment and mistreatment of animals on the farm following last year’s revelations and will face court next year, he said.
Morrison declined to comment, and Iceland did not respond to requests for comment.
Tesco told Granthshala It was immediately investigating Nestle’s claims.
An Asda spokesman said: “We take animal welfare very seriously and as soon as we were made aware of these claims, we launched an investigation with the supplier.”
A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “Animal welfare is of the utmost importance to us and we are investigating with Herta.”
A Nestlé UK spokesperson said: “We do not tolerate animal welfare abuse anywhere in our supply chain. The visuals shown in this video are unacceptable. We have contacted Herta for an immediate investigation of this farm and as necessary. asked to take action.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /