Animal welfare group uncovers more reasons to eat vegetarian
Mercy for Animals in Canada has uncovered horrific abuse to pigs at one of the nation's largest pork producers, Puratone, in Arborg, Manitoba, raising support for adopting a vegetarian diet. Gestation crates that are considered inhumane in Europe are being used, causing broken necks and sores.
Piglets that don’t grow fast enough are slammed against the ground and left to die painfully and slowly.
The footage, taken at Puratone, uncovers thousands of pregnant pigs, many sick and in pain; confined to gestation crates with no ability to turn around or even lay down.
Conditions at Puratone are described as ‘filthy’ enough to attract maggots.
Puratone has published a letter in response to the allegations, stating they will launch an investigation. The footage they claim does not “reflect our animal welfare and policy principles.”
The Manitoba government is also launching an investigation. CJOB reported:
“The Province's Chief Veterinarian Dr. Wayne Lees says whether the video can be used in the investigation will require those who took it, to verify exactly when and where it was taken. Lees says swine codes are currently under review. He suspects while some of the practices seen in the video may be acceptable under old standards, the codes will likely be updated.”
Workers are seen slapping, kicking and pulling pigs by the ears to force them to walk – the cries from the animals attest to their suffering. The footage captures their pain and the open sores.
Tiny baby pigs are shown as workers cut off their testicles and tails with no anesthetic – again, squealing in pain.
Other pigs are seen blinking and conscious after having bolts slammed into their heads to render them unconscious before they are killed.
Mercy for Animals writes, “Dr. Ian Duncan, professor emeritus at the University of Guelph, and holder of the oldest university chair in animal welfare in North America, stated: “It is the worst cruelty inflicted on an animal that I have witnessed in many years.”
Dr. Temple Grandin, the world's leading expert on farmed animal welfare supports phasing out gestation crates, yet the pork industry continues to support their use.
Costco, Safeway, McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, and over 30 other major retailers in Canada and the United States have started demanding that their suppliers do away gestation crates, also recognizing the cruelty of not allowing an animal to move.