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3rd Dec, 2021

Vigil held outside huge pig farm

Laura Kearns 11th Jul, 2017

A VIGIL has been held by animal rights campaigners outside a pig farm near Stratford.

National campaign group Viva claimed 15,000 pigs on Hogwood Pig Farm Unit lived in squalid conditions and had even resorted to cannibalism.

But Oxhill farmer Brian Hobill said the care of his animals was a top priority and that footage taken by Viva on his land did not represent their general health.

Campaigners held a ‘peaceful demonstration’ outside the farm on Monday, before heading to Stratford where they used virtual reality headsets to show footage taken inside the unit.

Campaigners, who shot the 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.

Viva founder Julia 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.”

But Mr Hobill claimed the campaigners had manipulated the scene, which Viva denied.

The Observer was unable to contact Mr Hobill, but speaking to the national press he previously said 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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