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The Sunday Mirror newspaper has revealed that Hogwood Pig Farm supplies supermarket giant Tesco.
The farm recently came under scrutiny when undercover footage by charity Viva! showed a catalogue of distressing images – including pigs eating other dead pigs as well as filthy and cramped conditions.
Viva! Founder Juliet Gellatley said said: “Our initial investigation exposed widespread abuse in a disgustingly dirty ‘Red Tractor Approved’ factory farm.
“Inside this hell hole we filmed cannibalism, sick dying pigs and wheelbarrows full of dead rotting animals.
“Cannibalism is not natural behaviour for pigs and is caused by this bleak environment.”
Tipped off by a local passer-by, the Viva! team also discovered piles of bones in a nearby wood owned by Hogwood.
They found skulls as well as other remains. Gellatley said: “We were appalled to find the pig graveyard in Hobill’s wood. Mounds of pig bones were piled high, covered in moss and undergrowth.
“It’s a risk to human health. It also shows a blatant disrespect for these poor pigs who have endured a life of suffering and misery at the hands of the farmer. It’s so unnecessary.
“Walking into woods strewn with bodily remains, I felt like I’d walked into the aftermath of a war zone. Unmarked graves for animals who were just a number. I found an ear tag ‘224’ next to the skull of a pig.
“We found 12 skulls, jaws, shoulder bones and legs scattered around and a mound filled with rotting remains – like a macabre scene from a horror film. But these victims were alive and suffered and died for nothing.”
In a statement to the Sunday Mirror, a spokesperson for Tesco said: “We take animal welfare extremely seriously and expect producers to meet recognised standards as well as our own stringent, industry leading requirements.
“Our dedicated agriculture team, Red Tractor and the Animal and Plant Health Agency visit farms regularly and any claims standards have not been reached are fully investigated.”
Farm Owner Brian Hobill added: “The bones found in the woods are likely to pre-date the burial ban on fallen stock which was introduced in 2003. Before that time farmers were legally permitted to bury fallen stock.”
How to help
If you are interested in writing to Tesco to ask the chain to stop supplying meat from this farm, you can find more information and a template letter here.