Screaming piglets with rotting open wounds are kicked, tortured and suffer seizures at faeces-ridden Dutch farm supplying UK markets

Piglets can be seen desperately trying to feed from their mums, despite being separated by a metal barrier.

Dutch-Belgian NGO Animal Rights shot the undercover video at two different pig farms in the towns of Lunteren and Nuenen, both located in the Netherlands.

The animals are kept for export, with the UK being the biggest market.

In the shocking footage, injured pigs, many of them with oozing wounds or large abscesses on their body, are shown left to their fate inside small, filthy pens.

Animal Rights campaign manager Erwin Vermeulen said: "The piglets and their mothers live above their own excrement on a concrete slatted floor in bare, often dirty pens.

"It is a dismal and inhumane existence."

An undercover employee, who was only identified as Tom, was hired fat the two pig farms despite not having any experience.

Tasks he was given included chopping off piglet's tails and grinding their teeth with a machine.

During these practices, a farmer can be seen roughly grabbing each piglet before throwing them back into a crate.

Vermeulen said that cutting tails and grinding piglets' teeth "are standard practices, which are forbidden by law.

"The piglets are screaming during these painful actions while the mother pigs, captive between the iron bars, are left helplessly watching."


Tom said he was deeply touched by some scenes he saw at the farms, such as a piglet that had lost a large swathe of skin from its back.

Somehow, it had survived and was still walking the next day in the shed with the same injury.

He said it was heartbreaking to see "mother pigs try with all their power to storm out of the gestation cage to get their piglets back after they were taken away.

"But I found possibly even more harrowing the mother pigs who were lying apathetically in their farrowing cage next to their stillborn piglets."

At the pig farm in Nuenen, Tom also captured a lad kicking the pigs' heads.

Tom said he saw him "handle the animals roughly. When moving the pigs, the boy kicked them repeatedly, even in their heads."

Animal Rights spokesman Robert Molenaar alleged that the scenes at the two farms are "unfortunately no excesses but standard practice in Dutch pig farming".

Molenaar added: "This is also shown by the numbers from the Dutch Inspectorate.

"They had to draft no fewer than 77 reports and send out 37 letters to restore a violation and give 21 written warnings (out of 350 inspections) to pig farms."

According to Animal Rights, most pigs in the Netherlands are kept to export pork meat abroad, with the UK being the prime market for Dutch pig farmers.

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) reports that the UK is a net importer of pig meat, currently importing around 60 per cent of all the pork it consumes.

Together with Denmark and Germany, the Netherlands accounts for 60 per cent of British pork imports.

Molenaar said: "Until recently this kind of undercover footage was rarely made public in the Netherlands."

He said this was "why many consumers and politicians were left in the delusion that 'everything is arranged quite well' in the Netherlands.

"Now it turns out that a very great deal is wrong."

MP Esther Ouwehand, of the Party for Animals, said her party would question Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten about the issue, and demand she take action to stop animal cruelty.

Molenaar urged consumers, too, to take action.

He said: "Animal Rights calls for all consumers to put meat aside during the Christmas period.

"Peace for animals starts on the plate of the consumer."

The Sun Online has approached the Dutch Meat Industry Association, which represents the Dutch pork industry, for comment.



 

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