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Exposed: ‘Quality Assured’ Farm

Undercover footage captured by Animal Equality has revealed disturbing scenes of animal suffering on P&G Sleigh Pig Unit in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which is owned by senior pig industry figure Philip Sleigh. As a result of our investigation, the farm has been removed from the Quality Meat Scotland assurance scheme and Philip Sleigh is now no longer a Board Member of the initiative. Pigs raised on the farm are slaughtered at ‘Quality Pork Limited’ – the largest pork abattoir in Scotland – and their flesh would have previously been sold under Quality Meat Scotland’s ‘Specially Selected Pork’ label. The slaughterhouse is contracted by Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the UK’s largest meat companies, which supplies around a quarter of Britain’s pig meat, including products sold by Lidl, Tesco and Marks & Spencer amongst other major retailers.

Warning: distressing images

Pig looking through bars of pen

Many pigs we filmed were kept in squalid, dark conditions. Some were forced to live in pens flooded with water and faeces, with no access to dry bedding.

Piglet having teeth clipped

Piglets born on the farm routinely had their tails cut off with a hot blade and their teeth clipped with pliers, without any pain relief.

Manager killing piglet with hammer

The covert footage revealed piglets being hammered to death. One farm worker claimed that using a hammer to kill a pig was “as good as any bullet.”

Bludgeoned pig who showed signs of life

Some pigs retained consciousness following multiple blows to the head, with one showing signs of life for over four minutes after the first strike.

Newborn piglet with umbilical cord still attached

Female pigs are forced to give birth in cages so small that they can’t turn around or properly care for their babies. They’re confined like this for weeks on end.

Sow with severe prolapse

Several mother pigs were suffering from torn vulvas and severe prolapses, resulting in organs protruding outside of their bodies.

Prior to their deaths, the suffering of these ill and injured pigs would have been very considerable, yet no signs of appropriate veterinary care were visible.

Dr Andrew Knight
Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics, University of Winchester

This is the Reality Behind British Bacon

Animal Equality sent letters of complaint to the relevant authorities, urging them to take immediate action against P&G Sleigh Pig Unit using the full force of the law. A criminal investigation is now underway.

Sadly, the cruelty we exposed taking place in this particular facility is indicative of an industry which sees animals as nothing more than money-making machines.

Our investigators have filmed inside 10 UK pig farms in the last five years, finding severe animal suffering and flagrant disregard for animal welfare in every single one. This is yet another case of an accredited ‘high welfare’ farm flouting the law. The British pig industry must not be allowed to continue to mislead consumers. Animal Equality is pushing for improved enforcement of existing animal welfare laws as well as for increased legal protections to be put in place for pigs.

Most of what we see here is typical of the industry as a whole. These are not isolated incidents.

Dr Alice Brough
Swine Veterinarian