Animal rights campaigner, Dori Kiss, spoke at the Melbourne Pig Save rally outside the GPO building in the heart of the city’s shopping precinct in late October, 2015.
In her speech, Dori spoke of police raiding her home and laying charges against her after she had reported horrendous treatment of animals at a New South Wales piggery. One of those animals is shown in this post’s main image, which is said to be from Springview Piggery in the town of Gooloogong.
Here’s what the Aussiepigs website says about the image and Springview:
“In late October 2013, a sow was discovered in a terrible condition, unable to move, with large bloody wounds on both of her front legs. She could not reach food or water. Activists were able to find a dish and fill it with water to give to her, and after some initial hesitance, she began frantically drinking litre after litre.
Many other sows were found with large untreated injuries, most of them in the sow stalls. Activists called police the following morning, but nobody was sent until three days later. The police were advised by the owners that the sow had suffered severe prolapses after giving birth to a litter of stillborns, damaging the nerves in her back legs and leaving her partially paralysed.
The owners had called in a vet sometime on Thursday 24th or Friday 25th October, who suggested they leave her over the weekend to see if her condition improved, and if not, to ‘destroy’ her. So she was left without food, water, treatment or attention of any sort, until Monday the 28th, when they killed her.
Despite this serious case of neglect, and the apparently undersized sow stalls, the owners of Springview Piggery have not been charged with any animal cruelty offences.”
The Aussiepigs website and Aussie Farms (referred to below) are run by Chris Delforce, who is also facing charges.
Here is a five-minute video and transcript of Dori’s speech (with video introduction by Melbourne Pig Save co-founder, Karina Leung).
“As a woman, the worst thing that I could imagine is to be tortured, to be raped, to have a stick thrust into my vagina, full of stranger’s sperm, then stuffed into a cage growing full of pregnancy. In the dead of night, inside my cage, I give birth to these children, some of them already dead as they slip out of my body. I can’t reach them, I can’t comfort them; all I can do is grieve. Grieve for myself, grieve for my own mother that suffered the same as me, grieve for my children, my children that will grow up to be only a few months old before being shipped off, never to see freedom, to have their blood drained from a gaping hole in their throats, to be cut up and served as bacon, next to chicken’s period.
My name is Dori Kiss, and I have been charged with five counts of break and enter, to cause an indictable offence. And that indictable offence is to record the suffering of these animals.
One of these charges is based on a report that I gave to police about a sow, trapped in a farrowing crate, paralysed, gaping wounds on her front legs, unable to even reach water.
I walked into the police station, and demanded that they help my fellow woman. She needed help, and they did absolutely nothing for her. When I walked out of that shed that night, and closed the door on her, my heart could have burst. What could I do to help her? I didn’t have the ability to lift her out of her cage of torture. What could I do, who could I ask to help? I needed someone to help.
The RSPCA? No. After what they did, or better said, didn’t do, for all the pigs at Wally’s Piggery, where pigs were being tortured and killed after first being stunned with a sledgehammer, and the RSPCA walked away and did nothing.
I would go to the police. They must help. But they didn’t. Instead, they have tried to build a case against me, tried to make me into a criminal, for helping to expose the torture that goes on every single day inside animal farms. They did nothing for the animals.
I may face jail time for what I have done, but the fact is that nothing that society can inflict on me is anything compared to the suffering of animals on animal farms. Nothing could be as bad as what happens to the poor animals. And for them, I will fight till my dying breath.
To my fellow human beings that still eat animals, that still farm animals, I beg of you, stop, please stop! Please stop partaking in their suffering. For God’s sake, you can now buy vegan bacon, vegan eggs. You have no excuse.
Stop turning a blind eye. Stop eating the flesh of suffering animals.
To all my fellow activists, I beg of you, do not be afraid! Do not be afraid to stand up and fight for the animals. Do not let society push you into silence. Do not let the animal exploitation industries silence you!”
Some of what Dori witnessed can be seen in this video:
Next door to where Dori spoke, thousands of people visit the famous Myer Christmas windows each year as part of a PR-driven pilgrimage that has continued for generations. On Christmas day, most would tuck gleefully into dead pigs, turkeys and chickens as they celebrate the supposed season of goodwill and peace to all.
Most of those animals would have been raised in facilities similar to the one that Dori spoke about. Many are included in the 38 establishments documented on the Aussiepigs website, along with other Aussie Farms exposés involving chickens, turkeys and ducks.
As just one example of the horrors we allow to be inflicted on animals, it is difficult to imagine that a water bird like a duck can be raised indoors, never seeing or feeling water, except the small amount they are given to drink.
A Contrasting Case: Oliver’s Piggery, Tasmania
The attitude of the police in Dori’s case appears to contrast starkly with that of the 2009 case of Oliver’s Piggery in Tasmania.
Activists Emma Haswell and Diana Simpson had recorded undercover footage from Oliver’s, showing horrific treatment of animals.
Here is some of what journalist, Paul Carter, said about the matter in the Tasmanian Times:
“The three animals over which he was prosecuted were destroyed by a vet soon after police arrived at the property to question Mr Oliver, with Ms Haswell in tow in an official advisory role. The sows were extremely emaciated, unwilling or unable to stand. Two had festering ulcers up to 12cm in diameter, and one of that pair was unable to move because its snout was stuck under the bar of a mesh divider. It could not get to food or water and its wounds were flyblown with adult and juvenile maggots.”
So, like the sow at Springview, a sow at Oliver’s Piggery could not reach food or water, and suffered horrifically in other ways.
After approaching the RSPCA and being told they would take no action, Emma informed police, who were shocked by what they saw and heard. The police visited the premises and laid charges.
Owner and industry veteran, Gary Oliver, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty. He was fined $2,500 and his company $10,000. A director of the company at the time was also on the board of producer-owned peak industry organisation, Australian Pork Limited (APL).
As a sad reflection of slick industry PR, at the time of the investigation, Mr Oliver had been appearing in brochures as one of Woolworths “fresh food people”. The business had been supplying the Woolworths retailing chain for ten years, and at the time of the video was supplying 20 per cent of the fresh pork sold in their Tasmanian supermarkets.
Just three months before their visit, the piggery was inspected by a quality auditor. According to presenter Liam Bartlett in Channel 9’s “60 Minutes” episode “The Hidden Truth“, the auditor gave the piggery “the all-clear”. He says it was only a clerical error by Mr Oliver that prevented the piggery from being accredited by APL at the time of the evening raid.
A Woolworths spokesman has said the company relied on standards, administered by APL, that are supposed to certify producers and maintain quality.
In the article referred to earlier, the Tasmanian Times reported that Magistrate John Myers, after viewing the images of the piggery supplied by the activists, had little sympathy for the farmer’s protests about the activists’ undercover visit. Mr Myers said the activists’ efforts “might well have turned out to be in the public interest”.
Emma Haswell has been rightfully lauded by the media for exposing some of the horrors of routine animal exploitation (exemplified by the words “emma-haswell-hero” on the internet address of the Tasmanian Times article referred to earlier), but Dori Kiss is yet to receive such support.
What About Proposed “Ag-Gag” Legislation?
In Australia and elsewhere, “ag-gag” laws have been introduced or are being proposed in many jurisdictions. The animal advocacy group, Voiceless, describes ag-gag as “variety of laws which seek to hinder or ‘gag’ animal protection advocates by preventing them from recording the operations of commercial agricultural facilities.”
One of the common requirements of ag-gag laws is that any footage obtained must be turned over to enforcement agencies immediately, rather than being given to animal protection groups or the media.
Dori’s reward for informing enforcement agencies in this instance appears to have been to instigate an investigation (including a raid on her home) and have charges laid against her.
In contrast, there have been no convictions against producers in respect of the dozens of establishments exposed by Aussie Farms.
Where do we stand as a society and as individuals?
To the extent that we reward abusers, ignore victims and punish those who expose the truth, how can we claim to live in a civilised society?
As individuals, we can help prevent cruelty in many ways, including informing others of hidden realities, joining animal advocacy campaigns, and refusing to consume animal products.
This article first appeared on the website of Melbourne Pig Save on 24th December, 2015 (incorrectly appearing as 4/1/2016).
Further reading and viewing
Aussie Farms, “Thousand Eyes: Australian Animal Agriculture” (4 minute video with graphic images)
ABC Lateline, “Animal Rights Battle“, 5th Nov 2013
Animal Liberation Victoria, “Free Range Fraud”
Brightside Farm Sanctuary (founded and run by Emma Haswell)
Melbourne Pig Save, “When does ‘cruel’ not mean ‘cruel’?”
Australian pig farming at Springview Piggery, Gooloogong, NSW, 2013 | aussiepigs.com