So, it took an anonymous whistleblower to tell the world that 500 pigs died two weeks earlier from heat stress when an air cooling system failed at Grong Grong Piggery in New South Wales, Australia. [1]

The CEO of the company that owns the piggery subsequently said:

The welfare of our animals is our highest priority at all times

Sure, sure, higher than earning profits.

He also said:

Losses like this cut deep emotionally for all staff.

But only after he had said:

These animals are their livelihoods and they care for them every day.

So, they care for them every day because they are their livelihood?

Besides, how well do they really care for them?

Here’s what animal rights group Aussie Farms has reported in respect of this piggery [2]:

The piggery features the largest sow stall shed we’ve ever received footage from, with 8 rows of tiny metal cages stretching far into the distance, confining hundreds and hundreds of pregnant sows for up to 16 weeks at a time.

Several piglets were found in pieces – some in the farrowing crates, some in the aisles of the farrowing crates, and some outside. One piglet had been ripped in half with his legs nearby. Another piglet’s head was found in the aisle near his legs. The back half of a piglet was found in a farrowing crate. Several buckets of dead piglets were found inside and outside the farrowing sheds. It is unclear what is causing the pigs to be severed into pieces and scattered throughout the facility – most likely a combination of cannibalism and worker mistreatment.

Trolleys full of rotting piglet tails were found in the farrowing crate sheds.

Many sows were found with pressure sores and other injuries.

Of course, the producer-owned organisation that administers the quality audit program (including animal welfare), Australian Pork Ltd, defended the producer in respect of Aussie Farms’ revelations. [3]

What hope do the pigs have?


Paul Mahony (also on Twitter, Scribd, Slideshare and Viva la Vegan)


[1] Pearson, A. and Jacobs, S., “500 pigs die from heat stress at NSW piggery”, Sydney Morning Herald, 13th March, 2015, http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/500-pigs-die-from-heat-stress-at-nsw-piggery-20150313-143j4l.html

[2] Aussie Farms, “Grong Grong Piggery”, May 2014, http://www.aussiepigs.com/piggeries/grong-grong

[3] Pearson, A. and Jacobs, S., op cit.


Aussie Farms


This article first appeared on the website of Melbourne Pig Save on 14th March, 2015.