The price of pork

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

From 2022 - 2024, our team of investigators have captured footage inside piggeries across Victoria, showing routine, standard practices performed on pigs bred for food, as well as shocking and sickening acts of cruelty and abuse.

Latest exposed: EcoPiggery, owned by the VFF's Pig Council President.

TAKE ACTION FOR VICTORIAN PIGS

More Information

Over the last two years, Farm Transparency Project has set out to expose the current state of the Australian pig meat industry with groundbreaking investigations into the confinement and slaughter of pigs in Australia. 

Our investigations have exposed: 

  • The ongoing use of sow stalls in Victorian piggeries, five years after an industry promised phase-out.
  • The horrific suffering and slaughter of pigs inside carbon dioxide gas chambers.
  • The mutilation and violent killing of day-old piglets at a major Victorian piggery.
  • The sickening rape of Olivia, a sow confined to a farrowing crate at a Victorian pig farm.

 

EcoPiggery

Most recently we investigated the piggery of President of the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) Pig Council, David Wright, who gave evidence during the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into pig welfare. During the public hearings David Wright gave evidence about the pork industry's adherence to “industry best practices,” and commitment to animal welfare, painting a picture of idyllic pig farms filled with contented pigs and hardworking farmers, under threat from vindictive, aggressive activists, determined to show his industry in a bad light. 

A sow confined to a mating stall at VFF pig council president David Wright's piggery, EcoPiggery (Farm Transparency Project, 2024)

In response to these statements, we published an investigation into his piggery in Leitchville, Victoria, revealing shocking conditions of sows, piglets and grower pigs. We documented sows kept in narrow ‘mating stalls’ for over a week, as well as sows and piglets confined to farrowing crates. Many sows had painful, infected pressure sores and were forced to sleep and stand in rivers of their own waste. Sheds contained maggots and pigs were seen eating the bodies of dead kittens as well as sick and dead piglets. 

David Wright co-owns this piggery with Colin Sinclair, owner and operator of Benalla slaughterhouse. Pigs from the farm are killed inside the same brutal gas chamber we exposed in early 2023. Read more about the investigation in our editorial

A 'grower' pig with an infected wound at EcoPiggery (Farm Transparency Project, 2024)

Midland Bacon

Further investigations by our team revealed the mutilation of newborn piglets, which is performed without anaesthetic or pain relief. Hidden cameras also captured the predominant method that Australian piggeries use to kill sick or weak piglets, which is to pick piglets up by their back legs, and slam 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 Olivia, a caged mother pig, in a Victorian piggery

What we want

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

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

Our footage shows exactly how vulnerable 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.

Ban the use of carbon dioxide gas chambers in Victorian pig slaughterhouses

Over 90% of pigs in Australia are killed inside agonising carbon dioxide gas chambers, which have been exposed by Farm Transparency Project multiple times over the years. These cruel contraptions must be urgently banned in all pig slaughterhouses.

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 Olivia may never have happened.

Support farmers to transition out of the pig meat industry and into kinder alternatives. 

The only way to end the suffering of pigs in farms and slaughterhouses is to stop breeding and killing them for food. We are calling on governments to support a phaseout of one of the most cruel and unsustainable industries in Australia and choose to support kinder, plant-based alternatives to pig products.

You can also take action as an individual by pledging to stop supporting animal slaughter by leaving animals off your plate and living vegan. Take the pledge today. 

For the latest information on our efforts to get Olivia released to an animal sanctuary, please see our 'Free Olivia' FAQ article

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. For the latest information about these efforts, please see our 'Free Olivia' FAQ article

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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