The price of pork

From birth to slaughter: the inherent cruelty of the pig farming industry.

In early 2024, our investigators captured not only the routine mutilation of piglets without anaesthetic and the use of blunt-force trauma to kill 'runts', but also the sickening sexual abuse of a caged sow.

More Information

From 2022 - 2024, our team of investigators have captured footage inside piggeries across Victoria, showing routine, standard practices performed on pigs bred for food. 

Our footage shows examples of farrowing crates, which are used in every intensive breeding piggery in Victoria. Farrowing crates are small pens containing even smaller cages, where sows are confined for up to 6 weeks while they give birth to and nurse their piglets.

In these crates, newborn piglets are subjected to a series of painful surgical mutilations, without any kind of anaesthetic or pain relief. Their tails are cut with scissors. Their teeth are cut back. Chunks are cut out of their ears as a method of identification. These unnecessary procedures are performed not by qualified veterinarians, but by untrained farm-hands.

The runts of the litter, and any piglets who seem sick or weak, are not given treatment or care, because that would cost more time and money than pig farms can be bothered investing. Instead, these piglets are picked up by their back legs, and slammed head-first onto the floor, not a metre away from their mothers who watch on helplessly. In large piggeries, like Midland Bacon near Stanhope, this happens every morning.  

Sows endure a repeated cycle of forced impregnation, giving birth, and having their piglets taken away from them. This forced impregnation is done through inserting a vial of boar semen into a sows vagina, after she is manually stimulated by a worker. This kind of sexual abuse and exploitation in any other context would be considered bestiality, but the pig farming industry is granted an exemption because it relies on bestiality for this everyday procedure.

When our investigators installed hidden cameras at Midland Bacon to capture the mutilation and killing of piglets, they also captured the sickening inevitable outcome of the normalisation of sexual abuse. After the lights have gone off in the farrowing shed for the day, a male worker is seen approaching a caged sow from behind, lowering his pants, and r*ping her for several minutes. Confined to a farrowing crate, she has no way to escape.

Our hidden cameras captured a male worker r*ping a caged mother pig in a Victorian piggery

 

What we want

Mandatory, publicly accessible CCTV in all Victorian farms and slaughterhouses.

If it weren’t for the work of investigators installing covert cameras to capture animal cruelty, this depraved act may have never been discovered. All facilities that breed, confine and kill animals should have publicly accessible CCTV installed to allow complete transparency of their operations and to prevent what we have uncovered from ever happening again. 

Ban the use of sow and farrowing crates in Victorian piggeries

The extreme confinement of pigs has been long protested as one of the most clear forms of animal abuse which is still legal in Australia. This new footage shows exactly how vulnerable these sows are while they are kept for weeks inside cages barely bigger than their own bodies. The Australian pork industry has shown that they have no capacity to enforce a self-imposed ban. The government must urgently step in and ban these cruel contraptions for good.

Throw out the proposed new biosecurity bill 

The government has recently introduced a new biosecurity bill which introduces increased penalties for animal cruelty whistleblowers who enter farms and slaughterhouses to capture footage of animal cruelty. This new bill is nothing about biosecurity. It is an attempt to protect the secrecy of animal slaughter industries and will act to prevent investigations like the one that uncovered this sickening act.

Update existing bestiality laws to recognise all sexual exploitation of animals as illegal. 

While the penetration of this sow with the man’s genitals is illegal, he first penetrated her with his fingers, which currently is not considered illegal. We are joining with Georgie Purcell and the Animal Justice Party to call on the government to:

  • Make all sexual penetration of animals illegal bestiality.
  • Make all sexual touching of animals, not only penetration, illegal.
  • Make the dissemination and possessing of bestiality content illegal, not only capturing it for sexual pleasure.
  • Remove all exemptions to bestiality laws which permit sexual exploitation as part of ‘standard industry practice’ like breeding and artificial insemination. 

If workers were not legally allowed to sexually manipulate and exploit farmed animals, the illegal r*pe of this pig may never have happened.

Take Action

On February 11th 2024, hidden cameras installed by investigators from FTP at a Victorian piggery caught a worker r*ping a female pig (sow) who was confined in a farrowing crate.

Just minutes after others have left the building and the lights have been turned off, the worker is seen approaching the sow and beginning to penetrate her with his hands. He then pulls down his pants, penetrates her with his penis and proceeds to r*pe her. 

This horrific act should never have happened, and we need urgent action from the government to make sure it never happens again. Use our template email below to demand change. 

Please also sign the petition to release the victim, Olivia ('Sow 8416'), to the care of an animal sanctuary. 

On February 11th 2024, hidden cameras installed by investigators from FTP at a Victorian piggery caught a worker raping a female pig (sow) who was confined in a farrowing crate. Take action now to make sure this never happens again.

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Victorian government, Australian Pork Limited, Victorian Farmers Federation

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