A new investigation published by Tras los Muros reveals dead pigs left to rot among the living, pigs suffering from horrific untreated wounds, and cannibalism. Hidden cameras captured videos and photos from 32 different Spanish pig farms between 2019 and 2020. Spain is one of the European Union’s largest producers of live pigs.
The investigation exposes the abysmal conditions of gestation areas, where female pigs are inseminated and kept in tiny crates for several weeks. Pigs were forced to sleep on hard concrete, with excrement often accumulating in the backs of the crates. Feces overflowed, forming puddles under the crates in two gestational sheds. In most of the sheds the investigators visited, they spotted rodents, flies, and cockroaches.
During this confinement, pigs cannot turn around or interact with one another. The crates are so tight that their bodies press against the sides when they lie down, causing injuries and suffering. The pigs also bite bars, chew anxiously, bob their heads, and make other repetitive motions that signal distress.
Mother pigs are put into cramped farrowing crates one week before giving birth. The floor is made of either metal or plastic, with no bedding to nest in. The investigators documented conditions that were so filthy mother pigs were forced to give birth in excrement. Mothers and babies shared this space with insects and rodents. Some babies did not survive and were left to rot. In the video, living piglets crawl over the bodies of their dead siblings.
Transitioning and Fattening Areas
After being taken from their mothers, pigs stay in transitioning and fattening areas. Extreme overcrowding causes aggression, and pigs attack one another. The investigators also found pigs wasting away from hunger and suffering a variety of other health problems, including sores, seizures, and tremors. Many pigs do not survive the horrendous conditions. If their bodies are not removed, they are sometimes eaten by other pigs, cats, or rodents. In one enclosure, investigators found rotting bodies that appeared partially eaten by other pigs.
What Can We Do?
Undercover investigations like these bring the meat industry’s secrets to light. Check out Mercy For Animals’ recent investigations, and spread the word by sharing them with your friends and family.
Of course, the best thing we can do for animals is to choose plant-based foods. Download our free Vegetarian Starter Guide to learn how.