Our latest undercover investigation has just launched in the The Mirror. Over a three month period, disturbing horrors were caught on camera as we filmed inside Bickmarsh Hall farm. Holding over 8,000 pigs, it is one of the biggest pig farms in the UK and classified as a 'mega-farm'. Bickmarsh Hall supply pigs to Cranswick, a UK-leader in providing own-brand 'products' to major supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons. Bickmarsh pig 'products' are sold by Asda and Tesco.
95% of UK pigs are imprisoned on Red Tractor Assured farms, a self-proclaimed "world-leading" assurance scheme. But, we have witnessed the spine-chilling reality of what pigs face on a standard UK pig farm, and you will be horrified at what we saw...
From birth to death, the suffering at Bickmarsh Hall was clear. Nursing mothers were confined to farrowing crates, trapped for weeks at a time. Restricted by metal bars and on a floor of concrete, the intimacy of giving birth was completely stripped away.
Pigs with painful prolapses were left among other animals, causing untold agony to those affected. In barren, filthy pens, the pigs were evidently bored and frustrated and were filmed biting the prolapses of the suffering individuals.
"This farm is the epitome of squalor, and unfortunately represents the norm for a large proportion of Britain’s pig farms. Pigs are forced to live in filthy, wet, bare concrete pens, completely covered in their own urine and faeces with no respite. These are naturally extremely hygienic animals, and these cramped, dirty and very poorly enriched conditions are undoubtedly causing both physiological and psychological damage." - Dr Alice Brough BVM&S MRCVS
Many dead pigs were dragged from sheds by workers using metal shackles and loaded onto JCB forks. Their dead bodies were graffitied with the word ‘DEAD’ then dumped into bins filled with masses of other decomposing pigs. Violated one last time by the farmers.
With over 8,000 pigs at Bickmarsh Hall farm, many were left in squalid conditions, on grated floors and slurry-covered concrete. This is the gruesome reality of Red Tractor Assured farms.
A pig, who was severely lame, was left for almost 10 hours after being discovered by a worker. They were trampled by other pigs, had their legs, ears and feet chewedand was left shivering on a wet, faeces-laden concrete floor.The worker dragged the screaming pig out by their legs.
Our cameras caught workers verbally and physically abusing pigs. We recorded pigs having gates rammed into them, having spiked slap markers – fine metal needles that tattoo the pigs instantly before going to the abattoir – thrust into their sides and electrified prods were used during loading.
"Despite having witnessed many harrowing scenes of animal cruelty, I've found the video taken at Bickmarsh Hall farm particularly heart-breaking. To see such intelligent and sensitive animals being so horrifically abused, from being hit, kicked, left to die, living in filth, and incarcerated in cages, reveals a callous industry that leaves a grave mark on humanity." - Peter Egan, Actor and Animal Rights Activist
In the past decade, red meat consumption (per person) has plummeted by 37%! Your choices today can and will make an impact tomorrow. YOU can end this Red Tractor Assured nightmare.
If you are already vegan and want to help further, you can order our Respect All Life leaflets and Animal Farming factsheets which are perfect for educating the public on high streets and posting through letterboxes.
Please visit our Action Centre to help animals with just a few clicks.Finally, check out our stunning merchandise. Every purchase directly funds investigations like this one.
The horrors facing pigs on British farms are unfathomable and no assurance scheme will ever 'protect' animals. I am certain that you will agree that this is a Red Tractor Assured nightmare and we must act urgently to get justice for pigs. Together we can advocate for a kinder world, one which meaningfully protects everyone.
For the animals.