By Chris Delforce, www.aussiepigs.com
Two activists have been charged in relation to the gathering of footage and photographs of piggeries exposed on www.aussiepigs.com.
Over the next few months we’ll be going back through all 38 as a tribute to every animal who suffered and died needlessly at the hands of this merciless and barbaric industry. Please comment. Please share. Please help us bring these stories to the attention of those responsible – not the farmers, but the consumers, those who unknowingly fund it all.
This campaign is not about reform, this campaign is not about the worst of the worst; this campaign is about the legal, industry-standard cruelty inflicted every day upon millions of pigs across Australia, from their birth into confinement through to the carbon dioxide gas filling their lungs or the electric current shooting through their brain. This campaign is about every life selfishly taken in the name of profit.
Our philosophy from the start has been that any good person who learns the truth will choose to no longer support it. That this industry relies upon secrecy and misconceptions. Please, help us to break that secrecy down, to be the light in the darkest corners of our country.
And so we begin with the one that started it all: Wally’s Piggery, just outside of Canberra.
Pigs living in their own waste or amongst their dead brothers and sisters, kicked or thrown through the aisles, their tails cut off and their teeth clipped without pain relief, the mothers caged for weeks on end, and the occasional few bludgeoned with a sledgehammer and their throats hacked with a knife inside the makeshift slaughter room.
It was a two-month long investigation using hidden cameras positioned inside the main farrowing shed and the slaughter room. The police, DPI and RSPCA were notified as soon as enough evidence had been obtained, and a joint raid was carried out on Friday 3 August, which would have caught Wally red-handed inside his slaughter room had he not been tipped off by the DPI.
Late that evening, the Aussie Pigs website and Facebook page were launched, followed the next night by a nationwide story on ABC TV News.
It was the most comprehensive insight into this industry in its history, and quite rightly the Australian public were outraged. Rallies were held, a petition calling for the piggery’s closure reached over 20000 signatures, and the piggery operators were receiving endless phone calls expressing anger and disgust from around the world. Eventually, the pressure became too much to handle; the breeding stopped and gradually the remaining pigs were sent to slaughter until a visit by activists in May 2013 confirmed that the farm had ceased operation.
Meanwhile, RSPCA NSW were dragging their feet, demanding activists expose their identities while refusing to seek indemnity for them. The multitude of stories coming forward about the piggery owners indicated a violent reprisal was likely. The day before the statute of limitations on RSPCA’s own evidence from their raid was to expire, pressure from Animal Liberation NSW forced their hand, and 53 charges were laid against the owners.
These charges were later dropped after Katrina Hodgkinson, then NSW Minister for Primary Industries, threatened to remove RSPCA’s inspection and prosecution powers.
Following the initial release of the footage and photos, the industry’s peak body, Australian Pork Limited (APL), chose to distance themselves from it, through condemnation and an assurance that Wally was a “rogue operator” who did not represent their industry’s standards, not realising that such a statement would be the catalyst for a long-overdue investigation into exactly what those standards were.
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