Investigation: Morrisons Pigs
One year after our shocking investigation into Winterbrook Farm Partners, Calvesley Farm has been ordered to cease operations and is in the process of being demolished.
The farm was a breeding unit, home to hundreds of female pigs who were routinely impregnated and forced to birth countless litters of piglets. A staggering 400 piglets a week were churned out and transported to another Winterbrook Farm Partners facility called Whiteshoot Farm – where they were reared for approximately five months before heading to slaughter.
Footage taken from Calvesley Farm revealed highly disturbing examples of animal cruelty. Farm workers were filmed thumping young piglets – killing them by slamming their tiny heads onto the concrete floor. Although legal, a brutally cruel act which is followed by the worker dumping the bodies aside – presumably because these animals were considered too small to be profitable (scroll down to read the full story).
Disturbing footage from an undercover investigation into two British pig farms exposes shocking conditions at farms supplying Morrisons. Workers were filmed brutally killing young pigs, mutilating others and leaving dead animals out in the open. The investigations took place during May 2020, using hidden cameras to reveal atrocities both inside and outside the farms’ sheds.
Read the Daily Mail Exclusive
Calvesley Farm is a pig breeding facility operated by Winterbrook Farm Partners. Up to 400 poor piglets are born in this hellhole each week.
Whiteshoot Farm is a rearing and fattening facility also operated by Winterbrook Farm Partners, housing more than 8,000 pigs.
In a dilapidated farrowing house at Calvesley Farm, an expectant sow was four days overdue. She was restless, confined to a crate that allowed her almost no room to stand, let alone turn around. She lapsed into stereotyped behaviour, gnawing at the metal bars trying to escape her terrible confinement and her agonising sadness was heartbreaking. This mother had to give birth onto an unforgiving hard floor with not a shred of bedding.
Due to selective breeding, pigs now give birth on average to an astonishing 13 to 14 piglets but for this sow there were just four. It’s likely that such a small litter would be her last. As soon as a sow is deemed unprofitable here, she’s marked with a green cross and moved to the cull pen.
Each newborn piglet is pulled from the farrowing crate and ruthlessly thrown into a metal trough. Investigators captured workers using a barbaric hot knife to slice the piglets’ tails back to a bleeding stump and a pair of pliers to clip away their teeth – all without pain relief. These cruel acts are supposed to prevent tail biting, a behaviour that manifests from distress and lack of stimulation.
One of the most distressing scenes captured shows a farm worker ‘thumping’ young piglets – where the young animals are swung in an overhead arch by their legs so their heads smash into the concrete floor. It’s a brutally cruel death for piglets deemed too small to be profitable. Their bodies are tossed aside and later added to the pile of dead awaiting incineration.
As if all this wasn’t bad enough, our team also stumbled upon the farm’s incinerator in an open-ended shed. Most days there were piles of dead piglets – some in empty feed sacks, others dumped on the ashes from previous burns – discarded like rubbish. The door had been left wide open. Next to the shed there were more dead piglets awaiting their turn to burn, writhing in maggots.
These practices are in complete violation of the government’s guidance on how to handle ‘fallen stock’, which states: ‘While waiting for your fallen stock to be collected, you must ensure that animals and birds cannot access the carcase.’
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