‘Nightmarish scenes’ filmed at farms run by company planning Yorkshire factory farm

Posted on the 10th March 2016

'Nightmarish scenes’ of filth, squalor and animal suffering have been uncovered at a series of farms run by York Wold Pig Pro Ltd, the company applying to build a controversial new pig farm in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

  • Sick animals suffering in squalor
  • Pigs wading through conditions allowed to become filthy
  • Dead animals left out in the open

‘Nightmarish scenes’ of filth, squalor and animal suffering have been uncovered at a series of farms run by York Wold Pig Pro Ltd, the company applying to build a controversial new pig farm in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The company stated in a presentation to Middleton Parish Council last month that it supplies most of its pigs to Morrisons.

The undercover investigation was conducted by Animal Aid in February 2016 and involved five pig farms operated by the company. The national campaign group uncovered deeply disturbing scenes, including obviously sick animals in filthy conditions; stillborn piglets in farrowing units where there were live animals; and pigs with multiple scratch wounds, undoubtedly caused by fighting.

At four out of the five premises investigated, dead animals were found left exposed to the open air. Half-used syringes and antibiotics were found at one of the farms, two of which are classified as being medically important for human use. Administering these substances to farmed animals in an effort to counteract the filthy conditions, says the national campaign group, is contributing to the global problem of antibiotic resistance.

York Wold Pig Pro Ltd is currently applying to build a controversial new pig farm near Middleton on the Wolds. The farm could incarcerate more than 6,000 pigs at any one time, and they would have no outside access. Less than half of the planned buildings are said to provide any kind of bedding material for the pigs, and it is expected that many of the buildings would have the same excrement-soaked slatted floors that were filmed in some of the units investigated by Animal Aid. The application documents mention that two 7.5 tonne lorries per week would be needed just to dispose of dead animals who could not survive conditions on the farm.

The farm has caused significant controversy amongst local people, with both Middleton on the Wolds and Bainton Parish Councils objecting to the application, as well as the local action group POWER.

Says Animal Aid Campaign Manager Isobel Hutchinson:

‘The nightmarish scenes we filmed during our undercover investigation highlight the terrible suffering that would be caused if this farm were to go ahead. Thousands of pigs would be condemned to a life of stress, misery and squalor. While some animals would succumb to sickness, the rest would face a brutal death at the slaughterhouse. Given the large-scale animal suffering that it would cause, as well as the risk to human health and the environment, we strongly urge the council to reject these disastrous plans.’

Editors’ notes

  • For more information or to interview Isobel Hutchinson, please telephone 01732 364 546 ext 233.
  • A screenshot of the company’s presentation stating that it supplies Morrisons is available on request
  • View a short film of Animal Aid’s investigation. The footage in full is available on request.
  • Animal Aid conducted an earlier undercover investigation at a different unit run by York Wold Pig Pro Ltd in 2008. Contact us for details.
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