PROVINCIA DE BURGOS – A pig farm in Burgos, previously recognised with animal welfare quality marks, now appears to be the scene of “one of the worst cases of animal abuse ever described in Spain”.
It has also emerged that this macro farm with 5,000 pigs supplies various Spanish companies that produce meat products under the ‘animal welfare’ quality mark. They then market those products where they are then sold in supermarkets throughout Europe (including Spain).
The farm abuses in Quintanilla del Coco have been revealed by an investigation by the Observatorio de Bienestar Animal (OBA). According to the newspaper El Periodico, this shows that hundreds of animals are in appalling conditions.
The recordings show animals with serious injuries, and deformities and surrounded by worms and rats. There are even images of dying piglets next to dead and decomposing animals and rotting pig remains next to empty beer bottles. The footage also shows workers pouring beer over seriously injured piglets and hitting the animals repeatedly with a hammer-like tool.
The operator of the farm is the mayor of the village and has been charged with alleged animal cruelty. Furthermore, the company responsible for distributing the farm’s meat has been convicted of misleading advertising. An investigation has been opened by the Lerma courts.
To date, the parties involved have declined to comment on the case. Supermarket chain Lidl has confirmed that Campofrío, one of its suppliers, terminated its contract with this farm last September. Other companies involved, including a Catalan company, have not yet responded.
Previous research into animal abuse
This is not the first time this animal rights organisation has exposed cases of animal abuse in European livestock farms. Last year the organisation revealed similar cases in poultry farms, including chicken farms in Tarragona and Seville. This is the first time that animal abuse has come to light in a pig farm that has been certified with the Welfair quality mark.
Call to action
Following the images, the organisation demands immediate closure of the farm, direct action from the institutions and companies involved, resignation of the mayor of the municipality of Burgos who also owns the farm, and an exemplary conviction for the poor treatment of the animals . “This is one of the most serious cases of animal abuse we have seen so far in Spain,” said Julia Elizalde, spokeswoman for the Observatorio de Bienestar Animal.
Also read: The limits in sight for Spanish macro farms