Supermarket giant Tesco has dropped Hogwood Pig Farm as one of its meat suppliers, following the release of ‘disturbing’ undercover footage.
The latest investigation by vegan charity Viva! shows piglets being kicked and thrown around by farmworkers, struck with metal riding crops and hand tools, and being ‘painfully injected’.
Investigations into the farm started back in 2017, revealing the ‘widespread neglect and abuse of pigs, including overcrowding, filthy and barren conditions’.
‘Dump Hogwood Farm!’
Despite backlash, Tesco continued to support the farm, resulting in activists demonstrating outside stores with placards reading ‘Dump Hogwood Farm!’.An online petition calling for the retailer to cut ties with the farm also received more than 31,000 signatures.
But in response to footage taken in July this year, Tesco has dropped the farm with ‘immediate effect’ while food standards organization Red Tractor has also suspended Hogwood’s certification and is pending further inspections.
‘A huge victory’
In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Juliet Gellatley, Founder and Director of VIVA!, described the news as a ‘huge victory’.
“The animal cruelty that our team witnessed on Hogwood Farm cannot be easily forgotten,” Gellatley said. “Over the past two years, there has been complete inaction by industry bodies, with meaningless assurances that they are working to improve standards. But finally, with this undeniable evidence, animal welfare has come before profit…
“Since our first ?investigation, the farm owners have invested thousands of pounds into increasing security at Hogwood. Rather than improve conditions for these poor animals, they invested in making it more difficult for the public to see the truth.?Now, the truth is finally out and consumers will no longer unknowingly support Hogwood Horror Farm.
“Although we ?congratulate Tesco and Red Tractor on finally making the right decision,?I can’t help but question why it is routinely left to animal welfare groups like Viva! to expose the abuse taking place on farms. Factory farming is an inherently cruel business and we hope that this?exposé?shows that assurance schemes like Red Tractor cannot be trusted. If you oppose animal cruelty, the best thing you can do is go vegan.”
Tesco branded the footage as ‘distressing and unacceptable’, telling the Daily Mail the farm is ‘well below [its] high animal welfare standards’.