A French pig breeder has been accused of severe animal abuse after undercover footage released Thursday appeared to show pigs at the facility were left to die without veterinary treatment, had their teeth removed with pliers and were wounded with screwdrivers when they refuse to enter their cages.
The footage was taken by a whistleblower on his phone, according to French animal rights organization L214. The whistleblower, who worked at the pig facility for over two years, gave his name and spoke directly to camera in an interview released with his videos.
Grégory Boutron says working at the pig facility in Yonne led to stress, nightmares and loss of appetite. He turned to a psychiatrist for help.
His videos appear to show a range of animal mistreatment, including sick and wounded animals, piglets being slammed to death on concrete floors, the systematic removal of piglet tails and testicles, wounds from screwdrivers and the use of pliers to remove teeth.
Boutron says he reported the pigs’ treatment to the facility’s management and filed a complaint in February with the Yonne police. His aim now is to have the pig farm shut down.
Much of the animal abuse seen in the footage is illegal, said L214. On 18 August, L214 filed a complaint against the piggery, Les Tremblats II, and its managers, Provent-SDPR, with the Auxerre prosecutor. Auxerre is the capital of Yonne, the central French department where the pig facility is based.
The full charges filed by L214 include severe animal abuse, blows with a sledgehammer, blows with a screwdriver, excessive and irregular use of the electric prod, leaving untreated animals in agony, routine tail docking and slamming.
There was no immediate response to requests for comment from the general manager of Provent-SDPR.
L214 said in a press release that it saluted “the courage of this employee who decided to make public the serious abuses committed against animals at the Tremblats piggery”.
The Animal Reader has seen a screenshot of Boutron’s police complaint, but local police would not immediately comment on the filing.
The live castration of piglets is not yet illegal but is expected to be banned in France next year.
The practice of killing piglets by slamming them on the floor is allowed in France. L214 is urging the French government to ban the practice and to implement a total ban on any tail docking, systemic and occasional.
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