Standard on Polish Farms slammed

UK - A food corporation that supplies British supermarkets - including Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury's - with pork has been condemned for 'appalling' animal welfare practices.

An undercover investigation by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) has revealed that hundreds of animals, some injured or sick, are crammed into barns without daylight. Dead animals are left to rot on the ground. The investigation into Polish pig farms owned by Smithfields Food, one of the world's largest pork suppliers, also found that powerful cocktails of drugs are administered to pigs reared in intensive factory-style conditions. Many of these chemicals include controversial antibiotics banned as growth promoters in other countries.

Smithfield Foods, an American firm whose headquarters are in Virginia, supplies pork products to supermarket chains including Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, the Co-op, Iceland and Makro. Its brands include Morliny, Animex and PEK chopped pork. The company also supplies a range of Polish Wiejska pork sausages sold in Waitrose and Harrods. Last night Waitrose announced it had withdrawn the delicatessen products made by the company.

A key focus of the CIWF inquiries was Wieckowice, in the Polish region of Wielkopolska, where a state dairy farm was taken over in 2002 by Animex, a Smithfield Foods subsidiary, and turned into an industrial-scale pig-rearing installation. Up to 13,000 animals are kept here. Secret filming carried out last year by investigators at Wieckowice show hundreds of young pigs being kept in barns without outdoor exercise or daylight. Some appeared to be emaciated, sick or frail.

Source: The Guardian
calendar icon 3 April 2006
clock icon 2 minute read
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