Calls for Action to Disturbing Footage of Animal Distress at Devon Farm

Investigative footage reveals harrowing scenes of animal suffering at Cross Farm in Devon, sparking urgent calls for legal action and industry reform. Here’s the full story.

Idealised Version

The UK public has an idealised version of the countryside implanted in their heads at a very young age. From nursery rhymes to idyllic scenes of nature in cartoons, our imaginations conjure up small family farms when the reality is often disturbingly different.

Undercover footage captured at Cross Farm in Holsworthy, Devon, has brought to light deeply distressing scenes of animal suffering, sparking outrage and calls for legal action. 

The footage, obtained by Glass Wall Films, reveals appalling conditions and several alleged breaches of animal welfare laws. 

Farming Practices

Its release to the public has reignited the debate on farming practices and the treatment of animals in the UK’s farms. The disturbing footage depicts pigs living in squalid and overcrowded conditions, with instances of cannibalism, untreated wounds, and malnourishment. 

It is important to note that pigs, despite their place in our imagination as dirty, squalid creatures, are actually surprisingly intelligent and social animals.

“Trampled to Death”

Christopher Shoebridge of Glass Wall Films said that filming had led the crew to question: “How many thousands of pigs have been forced to live like this over the last six years? How many have been cannibalised or trampled to death, or left to die in this squalor?”

He continued: “Not even one pig should be kept this way. The suffering there is unimaginable, and it has left our crew deeply traumatised.”

Similar Issues

This is not the first time Cross Farm has come under scrutiny. In 2017, Animal Equality conducted an investigation that uncovered similar issues, including leaking buildings, pigs forced to lie in waste, and inadequate living conditions for pregnant sows. 

Following this investigation, the Glass Wall film crew decided to visit the farm after assurances that conditions had improved. Shoebridge noted, “We were interested to document how animal welfare has improved over time on British farms, and so we visited a farm where improvements had been promised.”

He continued: “It was a huge shock to us that, far from being improved, things were just as bad, maybe even worse than before.

Advocates for Animals

Advocates for Animals, a solicitors firm, has submitted a letter of complaint to Heart of the South West trading standards, alleging multiple breaches of welfare laws at Cross Farm. 

The Advocates for Animals letter reads, “Our client is shocked and saddened at what the footage reveals and is appalled that potential breaches of welfare law appear to be taking place on a routine basis at Cross Farm.”

The farm, part of the Red Tractor scheme, intended to signify high standards of food production, now faces scrutiny and potential legal repercussions.

Defending Cross Farm

In response to the allegations, the National Pig Association (NPA) has defended Cross Farm, stating, “Whilst we acknowledge that some of the elements depicted within the footage are not examples of best possible practice, others are either not an accurate portrayal of that particular farm due to the questionable authenticity of some parts of the recording, or are simply a representation of standard pig production, sometimes with inaccurate narration.”

They continued, “The farm in question has cooperated fully with numerous investigations and has been found to be compliant with all requirements.” Beyond legal and industry ramifications, the footage has profoundly impacted those involved in its capture. 

Whether it be decaying pig corpses left to be eaten by the other unfortunate animals they shared a pen with, pens full of faeces, or dying piglets left to suffer, Shoebridge describes the crew as deeply traumatised by the scenes of suffering witnessed at Cross Farm.

Legal Action

The revelations from Cross Farm have led to increased calls for legal action and more significant pressure on farms and regulatory bodies such as the NPA to prioritise animal welfare and, where necessary, ensure accountability for those responsible for such scenes. 

However, with more farms being owned by larger companies and with the backing of pressure groups like the NPA, whether the harrowing footage taken at Cross Farm has any impact on politicians remains to be seen.

The post Urgent Call for Action to Disturbing Footage of Animal Distress at Devon Farm first appeared on Pulse365 Limited.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dusan Petkovic.

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