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Investigation Inside Spanish Pig Farms Uncovers Shocking Conditions

Animal Equality investigates five farms in Spain to uncover how pigs are treated on typical factory farms. What we found is shocking.

Around 56 million pigs are slaughtered in Spain each year. The vast majority will spend their short lives in brutal conditions inside factory farms.

Our investigation images show pigs being forced to live in dark, dirty and barren enclosures.

The pigs are given little space, with multiple pigs confined in small, wooden pens.

Dead rats and maggots were found in various parts of the farm, indicating poor hygiene and deplorable conditions.

It’s common for pigs inside factory farms to become sick or injured. Our investigators documented a number of pigs with serious conditions which went untreated. Many pigs were found with inflamed wounds and abnormal growths covering parts of their bodies.

Other pigs had marks on their ears where they’d been bitten by other pigs who have become stressed by the unnatural conditions.

It’s common for pigs to die on factory farms. During this investigation, we documented dead pigs whose bodies had been left among the living.

An estimated 10-15% of pigs in Spain die before ever reaching the slaughterhouse.

Animal Abuse Persistent in the Pig Meat Industry

The videos and photographs obtained by our investigators show what typical pig farms in Spain are like. But the evidence captured on these five farms in Spain doesn’t show all the suffering pigs endure.

It is common for pig farmers to mutilate piglets. During undercover investigations like these, Animal Equality has documented piglets being castrated, having their tails cut off, and having their teeth removed, all without pain relief.

A worker cuts a pig’s tail off on a UK farm.

These painful mutilations are carried out in an attempt to stop pigs from biting each other’s tails due to boredom or aggression, which are brought on by the stress that living in such unnatural environments causes.

Pig farms will never be acceptable, but the laws in Spain are not even strong enough to prevent many clear forms of abuse and exploitation for pigs. The Spanish Government is also failing to enforce them.

Spanish slaughterhouses continue to claim the lives of more pigs than any other European nation. Spain currently ranks third in global pig meat production.

What Are Pig Farms Like In The UK?

The conditions for pigs on UK farms are brutal. Pig farming takes place mostly on intensive factory farms where pigs are forced to spend their entire lives in dark, dirty sheds and in overcrowded conditions.

In a 2021 UK pig farm investigation, Animal Equality uncovered piglets who were deemed too small or too weak being killed by being slammed onto a concrete floor or hammered to death. One farm worker claimed that using a hammer to kill a pig was “as good as any bullet”.

We filmed pigs showing signs of consciousness, such as gasping and wriggling, after multiple blows to the head. One piglet showed signs of life for over four minutes after the first hammer strike hit her.

A farm worker kills piglets with a hammer on a UK farm.

We filmed how female pigs used for breeding are repeatedly artificially inseminated, then forced to give birth and nurse their young in cages so small that they can’t even turn around.

Several mother pigs were suffering from torn vulvas and severe prolapses, resulting in organs protruding outside of their bodies. In a particularly harrowing scene, a pig struggling with a very large uterine prolapse was forced to walk for over one and a half minutes before being killed.

Many pigs we filmed were kept in squalid, dark conditions and some were even forced to live in pens flooded with water and faeces, with no access to dry bedding. Workers went so far as to describe one room, where sickly and underweight pigs were housed, as the ‘Black Hole’.

How You Can Help Animals

You can help pigs with every meal by replacing meat and other animal products with plant-based alternatives. Join millions of people and get started on your plant-based journey today.

protect pigs

Pigs are highly social animals who are often considered smarter than dogs. You can protect these intelligent animals by simply choosing plant-based alternatives.

Our investigators are in the field conducting investigations into the meat industry and they need your support. Please support our investigators by making a donation today.

Your donation will fund:

  • Investigations into factory farms to show people the truth.
  • Campaigns for new laws to protect animals and to hold animal abusers to account.
  • Awareness campaigns to inspire more people like you to join our community and fight for animals.

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