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New Films Show Continued Negligence on Pig Farms

by 5m Editor
22 November 2011, at 9:38am

FINLAND - New videos shot in secret by animal rights activists on 16 farms and released on Monday have again exposed poor conditions for animals in the pig-farming industry. The new videos were shot in October and November, and constitute a new blow for pig farmers in the run-up to Christmas.

The pictures show pigs in filthy pens, with sick and dead pigs left in with living ones, reports YLE. The chair of the pig producers’ association, Martin Ylikännö, admits that the videos show mistreated animals. Nevertheless, he condemned the activists’ tactics as well as the farmers’ practices.

"It’s regrettable that intrusions like this have happened," said Mr Ylikännö. "But on the other hand, I’m angry with those in the industry – it’s clearly negligent if carcasses are left in the pens for a long time."

One-third of farms broke the law

According to YLE, films from pig farms were last filmed by activists just before Christmas in 2009. Evira, the Finnish Food Safety Authority, has since tightened checks on farms. Due to the stricter controls, more violations of animal rights standards were found than before, with one-third of those inspected in 2010 in violation of regulations. The majority of inspections were, however, made at farms where officials suspected negligent practices.

Efforts to deal with the problems are also underway within the pig industry. Abattoirs should not continue to buy meat from farms where problems have been detected, according to Pirjo Kortesniemi, Managing Director of an animal disease prevention association.

"No producer wants a situation where, when he produces nine good and ten beautiful pigs, somebody else does things carelessly," says Mr Kortesniemi. "Of course, everyone wants a crackdown on these kinds of things, and to eliminate them from the industry."

In the wake of the secret filming, Evira said that it would advise abattoirs not to buy meat from problem farms.

Activists: More scrutiny for the industry

The organisation involved in the filming previously undertook to film conditions on pig farms in 2009, according to YLE. Pig farmers pressed charges against them, but a district court acquitted the majority of activists last week.

"We would like to make clear that this kind of documentary will definitely continue to be made," said Karry Hedberg of the ’rights for animals’ organisation.

Salla Kivelä, another activist, agreed, saying that if real change is happening then it should be openly discussed, but that there should be no empty promises.

The activists would like to see the end of meat production altogether, concludes the YLE report.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.