Aussie Farms is an animal rights group exposing the cruel reality of pig farming in Australia. They go far behind the veneer of “feel good” advertising campaigns such as those of major supermarket chain, Coles, featuring celebrity chef, Curtis Stone. (See “Pig Cruelty with Curtis and Coles“. )
A recent exposé of Aussie Farms (its thirty-second overall, and the first in Western Australia) was said by the group to be of the Narrogin Piggery, owned by Craig Mostyn Farms, which is a division of Craig Mostyn Group.  The company has an impressive list of directors and executives, and its CEO, David Lock, was named Agribusiness Leader of the Year in the 2012 NAB Agribusiness Awards for Excellence. 
On the “Policies and Regulations” page of Craig Mostyn’s website, the following comments appear under the heading “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” :
Each state has legislation aimed at protecting the welfare of animals. In Western Australia, Craig Mostyn operates under the Animal Welfare Act 2002, which prohibits an act of cruelty on an animal. It also requires that a person in charge of an animal exercise reasonable care to prevent such acts occurring.
Section 19(1) of the Act, part of the “Cruelty to animals” section, simply says (in addition to specifying the relevant penalties), “A person must not be cruel to an animal”.
Something Craig Mostyn has omitted from its statement is the fact that the Animal Welfare Act contains the following exemption (Section 25, “Defence – code of practice”):
It is a defence to a charge under section 19(1) for a person to prove that the person was acting in accordance with a relevant code of practice.
The relevant code in this case is the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals: Pigs (3rd Edition).
Which practices are exempt, based on the fact that they are permitted under the code?
Here are some examples:
- life-long confinement indoors;
- confinement in a sow stall, with insufficient room to turn around, for up to 16.5 weeks, day and night;
- confinement in a farrowing crate, with insufficient room to turn around or interact with piglets, for up to 6 weeks, day and night;
- tail docking without anaesthetic;
- ear notching without anaesthetic;
- teeth clipping without anaesthetic;
- castration without anaesthetic.
However, part 4.5.1 of the code states:
Faeces and urine must not be permitted to accumulate to the stage where there is no clean area for pigs to lie down.
It seems that the code may have been interpreted rather loosely in this instance. That’s because the pigs in the images shown here appear to have been forced to live in their own excrement. In nature, pigs are clean animals, who avoid defecating or urinating where they sleep. They roll in mud or muddy water in order to cool down in hot weather, and to remove parasites.
The standards shown in the images are inconsistent with the following statement from Craig Mostyn’s website (with my underline).
Operating under the Linley Valley Pork brand, Craig Mostyn is the largest pork supplier in Western Australia servicing the domestic and export markets. Our pigs are grown under industry best practice, with the highest standard of animal welfare.
Some other points to consider
- The company’s free range brand was the first in Australia to be accredited under the RSPCA’s “paw of approval” program. The Age newspaper has reported that the RSPCA earns a royalty equal to 2 percent of sales in relation to such accreditations.  Major problems have been exposed with other brands accredited by the RSPCA on the “Free Range Fraud” website of Animal Liberation Victoria. 
- It’s Nambeelup piggery was allegedly exposed by Aussie Farms soon after Narrogin. Aussie Farms stated, “as is typical in many Australian pig farms, sows are confined to small cages on hard metal floors for weeks at a time, with their dead piglets left nearby”. 
- Aussie Farms has reported that Craig Mostyn is a part-owner of Linley Valley Abattoir, a large pig slaughterhouse in Western Australia that kills around 500,000 pigs per year.  It stuns pigs in a carbon dioxide chamber, which has been shown to be excruciatingly painful, despite industry claims to the contrary. (See “When does ‘cruel’ not mean ‘cruel’?“) 
- The company is a major supplier to Coles. If some of Coles’ so-called “sow stall free” pork is supplied from the Narrogin piggery, and conditions are as bad as indicated here, then one needs to ask what benefits are being achieved for pigs.
- It also supplies Woolworths “Select” brand products.
No matter how reputable the livestock industry participant appears to be, the only way for consumers to ensure they are not contributing to cruelty is to avoid consuming animal products.
 Mahony, P., “Pig cruelty with Curtis and Coles”, Terrastendo, 13th January, 2013, https://terrastendo.net/2013/01/13/pig-cruelty-with-curtis-and-coles/
 Aussie Farms, “Narrogin Piggery”, October, 2014, http://www.aussiepigs.com/piggeries/narrogin
 NAB Business Research and Insights, 12th March, 2013, “A transformation success story – Craig Mostyn”, http://business.nab.com.au/a-transformation-success-story-craig-mostyn-2951/
 Craig Mostyn Group, “Policies and Regulations”, http://www.craigmostyn.com.au/about/policies-and-regulation/
 Smith, A., “RSPCA stamp ‘dupes buyers'”, The Age, 9th January, 2012, http://www.theage.com.au/business/rspca-stamp-dupes-buyers-20120108-1pq6z.html
 Animal Liberation Victoria, “Free Range Fraud”, http://freerangefraud.com/
 Aussie Farms, “Nambeelup Piggery”, October, 2014, http://www.aussiepigs.com/piggeries/nambeelup
 Aussie Farms, “Craig Mostyn Farms”, http://www.aussiepigs.com/abusers/craig-mostyn
 Mahony, P., “When does ‘cruel’ not mean ‘cruel’?”, Terrastendo, 31st August, 2014, https://terrastendo.net/2014/08/31/when-does-cruel-not-mean-cruel/
Aussie Farms, http://www.aussiepigs.com/piggeries/narrogin/photos
This article first appeared on the website of Melbourne Pig Save on 2nd November, 2014.
Thanks to Melbourne Pig Save co-founder, Karina Leung, for her recent post on this issue on the group’s Facebook page, which prompted the writing of this post.