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Pigs killed in extreme suffering in slaughterhouse run by JBS, the largest meat company in the world

An investigation in Brazil has revealed the dire conditions in which animals are forced to live and die.

Mercy for Animals, an American organisation that also operates in South America, shared footage and images from inside a pig slaughterhouse in Brazil run by the largest meat company in the world, the infamous JBS.

The footage shows animals being painfully shocked and bled to death at the slaughterhouse. It also showed pigs living in extreme filth and suffering from injuries and illnesses at several pig farms in the southern and southeastern parts of the country, including one JBS supplier. 

Watch the investigation into the JBS slaughterhouse and farms.

The video makes for difficult viewing. Pigs are shown to be stunned with electricity and then bled to death, with some still shivering as blood gushes from their neck. Their bodies are then hung on an industrial line, so operators can remove their organs. Thanks to the investigation it is possible to see how signs of pneumonia and other damaged organs were found in the bodies of the pigs, including kidneys with cysts and lacerated intestines, contaminated with faeces.

Given the way pigs are raised on factory farms, these diseases are not surprising. Before reaching the slaughterhouse, pigs are often forced to live in crowded sheds on dirty concrete floors – not only in Brazil but also right here in the UK too. 

Precisely because of these terrible living conditions, pigs (as well as other animals raised and slaughtered for their meat) are regularly given antibiotics, since these terrible living conditions are the perfect breeding ground for dangerous diseases to come about. Unbelievably, 70% of the world’s antibiotics are sold for use on farms. Overuse of antibiotics is a leading cause of antibiotic resistance, a serious and imminent health threat worldwide. Factory farming is not only terrible for animals, it is a serious public health problem for humans.

JBS and the UK

JBS is a company present all over the world with interests that bind it to the largest meat industries of European countries including the UK. It has a majority stake in US company Pilgrim’s Pride which itself owns two of the UK’s largest meat producers, Pilgrim’s UK and Moy Park.

In its recent history, JBS has been involved in scandals that have been cast into the limelight of the world news, especially related to the company’s involvement in the destruction of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.

Animal Equality UK investigated twelve British chicken farms linked to Moy Park in 2020 and found devastating suffering, including birds being purposefully crushed to death when not growing fast enough to be deemed profitable and conditions so crowded that the chickens could barely move.

What are pig farms and slaughterhouses like in the UK?

Contrary to what you might believe, the conditions of life and death of pigs raised for their meat in the UK is not very different from that found by Mercy For Animals in Brazil.

Even in our country, pig farming takes place mostly on intensive factory farms where pigs are forced to spend their entire lives in dark and dirty sheds and in overcrowded conditions. 

Pigs in a typical UK intensive farm

The treatment animals receive from JBS is a reflection of how the meat industry treats animals all over the world: they are seen merely as money-making objects that can be used to derive the greatest possible profit.

See how pigs reared for their meat live in the UK.

Bringing this truth to light – the truth that the industry wants to hide – is the first step to raise awareness on sensitive issues like these.  

Investigations are the first weapon we have at our disposal to counter this terrible and unjust system: only by collecting new images that show the reality of factory farming can we continue to bring to light what is hidden behind the closed doors of farms and slaughterhouses. Without the work of investigators, the only voice would be that of the industry and its questionable and misleading adverts.

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