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BC Pork investigates Abbotsford pig farm after graphic video surfaces

Last Updated Apr 24, 2019 at 9:20 pm PDT

Piglets in a cage at an Abbotsford farm. (Source: Video still, PETA)

A group representing BC pig farmers is investigating following the release of a video shot at an Abbotsford pig farm

BC Pork says a vet visited the farm to check in on the pigs

The activist who shot the video admits he trespassed to shoot it, but says breaking the law was justified in this case

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains graphic information that may be disturbing to some readers.

ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) — The conditions at an Abbotsford hog farm are under investigation by the pork industry and the BC SPCA after an animal rights activist shared video of what appears to be sick and dying pigs.

BC Pork Producers Association says some of what’s seen in the video shared by PETA is concerning, but argues it lacks context, and the person who shot it wasn’t supposed to be there.

That activist admits he trespassed to shoot the video, but he says it was necessary to expose what is happening on the farm. He spoke to NEWS 1130 on condition of anonymity.

“There were dying piglets left quivering on the floor, numerous others were already dead. We saw all kinds of untreated injuries, including bleeding sores, hernias, pigs so crippled they couldn’t even stand, and in one of the pens, we saw pigs actually eating the rotting body of another deceased pig,” he says.

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“Any repercussions that I may be facing are minor compared to the suffering pigs are enduring on this farm, so I’m okay with it.”

He says the industry group is focusing on the fact he trespassed to take attention away from how the animals are being treated.

“This is just demonstrating the desperation of the industry, they’re just trying to take the focus off the issue of animal suffering,” he says. “If the law is perpetuating the needless suffering of animals, I would say it’s unjust — we have a clear moral obligation to break unjust laws.

“It’s just a complete lack of transparency with the industry. I wish we lived in a world where we didn’t have to lift the veil.”

WARNING: Video contains graphic images that may be disturbing to some viewers

Some contents of video a concern: industry

BC Pork says it sent a vet to the farm after the video was made public.

“As soon as we saw the video, BC Pork arranged for a swine veterinarian to visit the farm to ensure national standards were continuing to be met,” Chad Goertzen, the group’s director, said in a news release.

The industry says the farms follow a national standard and have regular visits from swine veterinarians.

“BC’s pork sector represents a small group of family farms that care deeply about animal care and welfare,” Jack Dewit BCPPA president said in a release. “We ask our neighbours who have concerns to raise them immediately with us, rather than putting our farms and pig health at risk by entering our facilities directly and without our knowledge or permission.”

The video was shot between mid-February and mid-March of 2019.