Animal rights activists shoot new footage in piggery owned by chairman of pig producers’ association
“Poor treatment of pigs is a structural problem within the meat industry”, claims activist Saila Kivelä.
On Thursday evening, Finland’s animal rights activists publicised yet more new video footage depicting the poor conditions on the country’s pig farms.
The clips were shown by the commercial Finnish television channel Nelonen’s news programme Nelosen Uutiset. The previous occasion when video images on the goings-on at the country’s piggeries were leaked to the public was on November 21st, when similar clips were shown by the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE in its current affairs programme A-studio.
This time the activists had done secret filming on only two farms.
In Huittinen, the cameramen paid two visits to the piggery owned by Martin Ylikännö, the chairman of the pig producers’ association.
The other featured pig farm was located in the Northern Ostrobothnia region. The videos had been filmed in October-November.
Based on the images, the two piggeries were clearly neater than average.
Nevertheless, in both establishments animals were found that had wounds on either their head or their body. Some of the animals had had their tails bitten off.
As before, the footage had been filmed at night, the activists say.
Entering the premises, the activists had not broken any locks. Instead, the piggeries' doors had been unlocked, or the key had been easy to find.
According to activist Saila Kivelä from the Oikeutta Eläimille (”Justice for Animals”) organisation, the main motive for the shooting of the footage was to prove that the poor treatment of pigs is a systemic structural problem within the meat industry.
“The animals’ welfare is not being paid attention to. The question is how we deal with this.”
“Pigs are intelligent animals. The lack of stimuli can lead for example to the pigs biting off each other’s tails. The industry should recognise and admit that the animals are not doing well.”
Kivelä has not shot the latest videos, but she is the one who released them to the media.
Ylikännö says that the activists’ visit to his farm did not come as a surprise.
“I have been expecting it”, he says.
“I have seen at least some of the clips. They depict the everyday reality of life on a pig farm. When there are more than 6,000 pigs there, one will always find something”, Ylikännö says.
“I just had a chat with a representative from the Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira) and in his opinion everything on the farm is in order.”
In the filmed footage there was a dead pig lying on the yard of Ylikännö’s farm.
“Dead animals are taken out from where they are transported in a tractor’s scoop to a waste container. This time, one carcass had been left out for the night by the workers, and of course it happened to be the very night when the cameramen arrived.”
“The new images do not add anything new to the ongoing dialogue. Similar videos will keep surfacing so long as the media is willing to publicise them”, Ylikännö concludes.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Animal rights activists carry dead pigs in downtown Helsinki protest (24.11.2011)
Minister says supervision of pig farms is sufficient (23.11.2011)
New video by animal rights activists shows that little has been done to improve conditions at Finnish pig farms (22.11.2011)
Animal rights activists acquitted on nearly all counts in secret videotaping of pig farm conditions (16.11.2011)
Animal rights activists who secretly filmed Finnish pig farms two years ago may now face prison (30.8.2011)
The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK)
Finnish Food Safety Authority EVIRA