News & Media > Media Releases and Statements > Hidden cameras reveal pigs slowly suffocating for 20 minutes in “horrifically cruel” South Australian slaughterhouse

Hidden cameras reveal pigs slowly suffocating for 20 minutes in “horrifically cruel” South Australian slaughterhouse

Wed 12 Jul 2023, 1:07pm

Sow gasping for air at the bottom of a gas chamber

  • Animal cruelty investigators have used hidden cameras to capture new footage inside a South Australian pig slaughterhouse’s gas chamber, which shows pigs screaming, thrashing and trying to escape while slowly suffocating to death.
  • Farm Transparency Project has captured hundreds of hours of footage from four slaughterhouse gas chambers, across two states, over the past six months. Its investigators say they have not once seen pigs die without terror, pain and frantic attempts to escape.
  • The organisation is calling for a national inquiry into pig slaughter methods, claiming that Australian animal confinement and slaughter is “inherently violent and cruel."
  • Farm Transparency Project has announced an intention to investigate and expose 30 slaughterhouses over 2023 and 2024.

Animal cruelty investigators from Farm Transparency Project have released new footage from inside a gas chamber at the BMK Foods slaughterhouse in Murray Bridge, South Australia. The group used hidden cameras to capture days of footage from the facility, which shows hundreds of pigs, including discarded mother pigs, being gassed to death inside a carbon dioxide gas chamber.

The slaughterhouse is one of three in South Australia reported to state regulators on Monday for extreme animal cruelty.

The footage comes after the group published video earlier this year taken from inside three Victorian pig gas chambers, which led to one slaughterhouse closing down and the announcement of a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into pig gassing and confinement. This new footage, which shows pigs screaming, gasping for air and thrashing to escape the gas, is the first pig gassing footage captured inside a South Australian slaughterhouse since 2014.

Director of Farm Transparency Project, Chris Delforce, claims that the footage captured by the group is yet another nail in the coffin of an industry which has so far refused to take accountability for systemic animal cruelty.

“After we released footage from inside all three Victorian pig gas chambers, we were met with deflection, dishonesty and outright lies from the Australian pork industry, who have continued to claim that gassing pigs to death is a painless, humane method of slaughter. We set out to prove that pain, suffering and terror is experienced by all pigs who are killed inside these brutal machines.”

“We’re aware that we may be arrested and charged for using hidden cameras to capture and publish this footage, but the risks that we might face are outweighed by the public’s right to know the reality of pig slaughter in Australia.”

The group is calling on the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Murray Watt, to launch a national inquiry into pig slaughter methods and support a ban on gas chambers, which is supported by the Victorian Greens and Animal Justice Party. While animal cruelty laws are typically a state matter, all Australian slaughterhouses must comply with the federally-administered Australian Standard for the Hygienic Production and Transportation of Meat and Meat Products for Human Consumption AS 4696:2007, which Farm Transparency Project argues could be amended to prohibit the use of gas chambers.

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