We've been told that the British pig industry has the best animal welfare in the world - and it couldn't be farther from the truth. Pigs killed for their meat live only five or six months but it takes a battery of drugs to keep them alive. From birth until death they are given powerful antibiotics – drugs which create superbugs that can kill us – in a desperate attempt to control the diseases which run riot in the filth of the factory farm.
We’ve gone into many farms. We’ve seen broken legs, painful abscesses, ruptured stomachs and pigs suffering with pneumonia or meningitis. Mother sows have given birth in their own poo and others are coated head to toe in it before being sent to be killed.
At least 80% of piglets are mutilated in the UK every year – this despite the fact that routine mutilations are supposedly banned in the UK and Europe! Baby pigs have their back teeth cut off with pliers and their little tails cut off with scissors, without anaesthetics or pain killers to numb the pain.
And all because of the cramped conditions they’re forced to live in – farmers say it is necessary so that the frustrated and penned up pigs don’t bite each other’s tails or damage their mother’s teats. Pigs are highly intelligent animals (if you’ve ever met one you’ll know!), and they are driven to despair and madness is barren pens, all their playful and intelligent instincts without anything to do.