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3rd Dec, 2021

Pig farm will 'review policies' after story

Catherine Thompson 30th Jun, 2017 Updated: 25th Oct, 2019

A PIG farmer near Alcester says the care of his animals is a top priority following claims his 15,000 pigs live in squalid conditions – and have even resorted to cannibalism.

Hogwood Farm Pig Unit in Oxhill has found itself splashed across national headlines following an undercover investigation by animal welfare campaign group Viva earlier this month.

Viva founder Julie Gellatley said the farm run by Brian Hobill revealed some of the worst conditions she had ever seen. Viva has launched urging the government to shut the farm down.

Campaigners, who shot a video, say sick pigs were dumped in gangways with no access to food or water, and a group of pigs were found eating a rotting corpse in a pen surrounded by animal skeletons.

They also claim there was a wheelbarrow full of some 30 dead piglets which were teeming with maggots and flies.

Viva founder Ms Gellatley, who carried out the investigation after a tip-off from a former employee, said: “It is beyond terrible and beyond sad.

“Pigs were so tightly crammed in it was hard to walk through them. Many were covered in lacerations and all were smeared in filth.

“One of the most disturbing scenes was adults eating the pig corpse.

Cannibalism is not natural behaviour for pigs and is caused by this bleak environment.

The Observer was unable to contact Mr Hobill, but speaking to the national press he said the care of the farm’s animals was its top priority.

He added the pictures taken did not represent the general health of the animals on the farm.

He concluded there did appear to be “shortcomings on deadstock removal” but said the farm would be reviewing its policies to ensure they were followed.

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