20th Oct, 2018

Animal rights campaigners carry out second investigation at pig factory farm

FARM inspectors say they have found no evidence of ill treatment at a south Warwickshire pig farm following further claims by animal rights activists.

Viva say they took pictures and film footage of injured pigs strewn about gangways and one pig being eaten alive during a second undercover investigation at Hogwood Farm in Oxhill.

Campaigners said they also found ‘severe’ overcrowding, pigs covered in faeces, and rotting corpses at the farm which supplies supermarket giant Tesco.

Both Tesco and government body the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) said investigations were ongoing and were unable to comment further.

Food assurance company Red Tractor carried out its own inspection following the allegations in July – one of six since the first Viva investigation last year which reported similar findings.

A Red Tractor spokesperson said: “To address the specific concerns alleged in Viva’s film, no major alarms have been raised by Red Tractor’s independent inspectors, the specialist pig vets, the APHA or trading standards who have all inspected the farm in recent months.

“The last inspection on July 6 did raise an incidence of low-level tail-biting – a behaviour that pigs may display in both indoor and outdoor settings.

“The farmer has been implementing management of this under the supervision of the vet. Independent inspectors are happy that this is being well managed. Additionally, they have confirmed that any pigs that had been moved out of their pens and into the corridor had access to food and water.

“The unannounced inspection did not find evidence of the most distressing images alleged in the Viva film, nor have we been informed that the APHA or Trading Standards found anything to the contrary.

“We continue to watch Hogwood Farm with vigilance.”

But Viva remained unconvinced the welfare of farm animals was being taken seriously.

Founder Juliet Gellatley said: “I believe anyone with a heart seeing the state of the animals in today’s modern farms would want factory farming to end.

“Most pigs in Britain and elsewhere endure short and brutal lives on farms where their welfare is of far lower importance than production.”

The Observer was unable to contact Hogwood Farm owner Brian Hobill.

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