MOSS ROSE PIGGERIES EXPOSED (RED TRACTOR / MORRISONS)
Over the months of April to June 2019, activists investigated Moss Rose Piggeries in Blackpool; a Red Tractor approved farm that is a supplier to the supermarket chain Morrisons.
Moss Rose is an intensive pig rearing facility that houses hundreds of individuals who are seen to be living in unsanitary conditions with many of them covered in their own waste in filthy concrete pens.
A number of animals on site were also seen housed on dirty and wet tiled flooring causing a clear slipping hazard for the animals.
Away from the main pens, the activists also found individuals with what looked to be painful prolapses in small pens with no access to bedding, no visible signs of food and blood stains were seen on the floor and walls.
According to industry website, “The Pig Site”, the farms wet conditions could be a factor in why so many animals with prolapses were in isolation:
“The following may be considered as causal or contributory particularly in growers.”, “Wet conditions and slippery floors,particularly those with no bedding, increase abdominal pressure.”
Many pigs were seen with docked tails which is also cited as a possible cause:
“Tail docking - docking tails too short can damage the nerve supply to the anal ring leading to a relaxation of the anal sphincter.”
Red Tractor guidelines state: “Pigs must have permanent access to environmental enrichment in order to satisfy their investigation and manipulation behavioural requirements. Examples of environmental enrichment include straw, hay, wood, sawdust, peat. Chains alone are not acceptable.”
For enrichment the pigs on this facility are given only a single hanging chain to play with. Some pens appeared to have no hanging chain but only a few small links attached to the wall; although we are uncertain if these were meant for enrichment or for another purpose.
Another major cause for concern is the number of cockroaches seen to be covering the walls and infesting food trolleys inside the facility.
According to industry website ’The Pig Site’, the control of insects is extremely important as cockroaches can transmit diseases such as Swine Dysentery (Brachyspira hyodysenteriae) and PCV2, which is ranked one of the “top three infectious agents in the swine industry”.
From looking over the Red Tractor documentation for pigs, we believe Moss Rose are in violation of a number of guidelines including:
Risk to animal welfare, vermin control, unhygienic conditions, lack of dry lying areas, inappropriate flooring, unsuitable access to food and water, unsuitable feed, lack of environmental enrichment and more.
We also believe the farm are in violation of DEFRA guidelines including: Unsuitable hygiene, husbandry and accommodation and inadequate care of sick and injured animals etc.
The connection to Morrisons was confirmed after discovering a news article stating they use the Morrisons Colne slaughterhouse and then by email from Samantha Trick - Morrisons Livestock And Farming Development Manager.
Both Morrisons and DEFRA were made aware of the farm a number of months ago and nothing has been done.
Red Tractor Potential Violations
RED TRACTOR ASSURANCE FOR FARMS PIG SCHEME
1 ) DP.a.1= DOCUMENT AND PROCEDURES
Systems must be in place for maintaining the farm in a manner that does not present risks to food safety, animal welfare or environmental protection
THE FARM IS FILTHY AND OBVIOUSLY NOT MAINTAINED OR CLEANED AT ALL, WHICH WOULD CONTAMINATE FOOD AND DRINKING WATER, CONTRIBUTE TO THE SPREAD OF DISEASE FURTHER ENDANGERING THE ANIMALS AND OBVIOUSLY PUTS AT RISK THE SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENTAL.
2 ) VC.a= VERMIN CONTROL
Evidence that control is effective and being managed e.g. there is no evidence of contamination by vermin.
THE FARM HAS A CLEAR INFESTATION OF COCKROACHES AS WELL AS IN THE FOOD THE PIGS EAT. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF CONTROL AS THIS PROBLEM HAS BEEN LONG STANDING OVER THE INVESTIGATION PERIOD.
3 ) HF.a 1= HOUSING AND SHELTER
Housing must be constructed and maintained to provide a safe, comfortable and hygienic environment for livestock that is also thermally comfortable and has dry lying areas.
THE HOUSING IS FILTHY AND COVERED IN FAECES AND URINE. SOME OF THE PENS HAVE VISIBLE BLOOD STAINS ON BOTH FLOOR AND WALLS. A NUMBER OF PENS HAVE TILED FLOORS WHICH WERE SEEN TO BE CONSTANTLY WET DUE TO THE CONDITIONS, THUS NOT ALLOWING FOR ANY DRY LYING AREA. NO BEDDING PROVIDED AT ALL.
Floors must be constructed and maintained in a manner that minimises the risk of injury. Where floors cannot be drained they are well maintained with dry bedding.
Where pens are used for natural service, bedding or non-slip flooring is in place.
Lying areas are well-drained or maintained with dry bedding.
THE TILED FLOORS ARE FILTHY AND SLIPPERY WHICH MAXIMISES RISK OF INJURY. FLOORS ARE NOT WELL MAINTAINED, COVERED IN URINE AND FAECAL MATTER. NO DRY BEDDING AVAILABLE AT ALL.
Conditions in housing must be maintained in a manner that ensures livestock are able to keep clean.
THE FACILITY IS FILTHY AND DOES NOT ALLOW FOR THE PIGS TO KEEP CLEAN
Livestock must be provided with adequate access to a supply of fresh, clean drinking water. Troughs/ drinkers are suitably located and are at an appropriate height, allowing unrestricted access whilst minimising the risk of fouling.
AT TIME OF INVESTIGATION, TROUGHS SEEN TO BE FULL OF FAECAL MATTER AND URINE
Feed must be suitable.
Feed is palatable (i.e. not stale or contaminated).
FOOD TROUGHS IN THE PENS ARE CONTAMINATED WITH URINE AND FAECAL MATTER AND TROLLEYS CONTAMINATED WITH COCKROACHES
Feed must be stored in a manner which minimises the risk of contamination.
Storage facilities protect, as far as possible, against the harbouring of domestic animals, wildlife and vermin.
FOOD WAS LEFT OUT IN THE PATHWAY AND CONTAMINATED WITH COCKROACHES.
10) AH.d Key= ANIMAL HEALTH AND WELFARE
The health and welfare of livestock must be met at all times.
Any health or welfare issues have been detected and are being managed.
AS CAN CLEARLY BE SEEN BY THE ABOVE, THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF THE ANIMALS IS HIGHLY COMPROMISED. DEFRA HAS BEEN CONTACTED BY THE ACTIVISTS AND THEY ASSURED THEM THAT THEY WOULD SEND A VET TO CHECK OVER THE FARM. ACTIVISTS HAVE SINCE BEEN BACK AND THE CONDITIONS ONLY SEEM TO HAVE WORSENED.
11 ) AH.d.2
Pigs must have permanent access to environmental enrichment in order to satisfy their investigation and manipulation behavioural requirements.
Examples of environmental enrichment include straw, hay, wood, sawdust, peat. Chains alone are not acceptable.
ONLY SIGNS OF ANY ENRICHMENT ARE CHAINS HANGING FROM SOME OF THE CEILINGS WITH NO WOOD, STRAW, PEAT OR SAWDUST IN SIGHT.
Control measures must be in place to minimise the spread of disease within the farm and between other farms.
THE DRAINAGE / SEWER SYSTEMS ON SOME PATHWAYS ARE OVERFLOWING TO MID CALF HEIGHT, FROM WHAT WE CAN SEE FOR SOME ANIMALS THESE PATHWAYS ARE THE ONLY WAY FOR PIGS TO ENTER AND EXIT THE FACILITY.
DEFRA Potential Violations
CODE OF RECOMMENDATION FOR WELFARE OF LIVESTOCK (PIGS) - DEFRA HEALTH
Maintenance of good health is the most basic requirement affecting the welfare of the pig.
Measures to protect health include good hygiene, good husbandry and effective ventilation.
PENS COVERED IN FAECAL MATTER AND URINE, COCKROACH INFESTATION. FOOD TROUGHS FULL OF EXCREMENT, VERY POOR HUSBANDRY, NO BEDDING AND ALMOST NO ENRICHMENT.
Biosecurity means reducing the risk of disease occurring or spreading to other animals. Good biosecurity can be obtained through:
A programme of pest control should be in place for, for example, rodents. Every effort should be made to make housing proof against birds, such as starlings. Domestic pets, feral cats and other wild animals should be discouraged.
PENS COVERED IN FAECAL MATTER AND URINE. COCKROACH INFESTATION.
SICK AND INJURED ANIMALS
The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003 No. 299) Schedule 6, Part II, paragraph 3 states that: -
Where necessary, sick or injured pigs shall be temporarily isolated in suitable accommodation with dry comfortable bedding.
In these hospital pens, you should make sure that drinking water is freely available, and that there are feeding facilities. Particular care is needed where recumbent animals are isolated to ensure that there is easy access to water and feed and that the animals are eating and drinking.
ZERO BEDDING PROVIDED, DIRTY TROUGHS, NO FOOD SEEN.
The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003 No. 299), Schedule 6, Part II, paragraphs 6 and 7 state that: Housing must have a clean, comfortable and adequately drained place in which the pig can rest; Housing must maintain a comfortable temperature.
PENS COVERED IN FAECES AND URINE, COULD NOT SEE ANY VISIBLE IN PEN DRAINAGE. NO BEDDING PROVIDED.
The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003 No. 299), Schedule 6, Part II, paragraphs 12 and 13 state that: Where pigs are kept in a building, floors shall – Be smooth but not slippery so as to prevent injury to the pigs; Be so designed, constructed and maintained as not to cause injury or suffering to pigs standing or lying on them;
The lying area should always be kept dry and pen floors, including the dunging area, should be drained effectively. Where bedding is provided, this must be clean and dry, regularly topped up or changed, and not detrimental to the health of the pigs.
TILED FLOORS COVERED IN FAECES AND URINE AND THUS SLIPPERY LEADING TO RISK OF INJURY, NO DRY AREA, NO BEDDING PROVIDED. UNHYGIENIC LIVING CONDITIONS WHICH ARE DETRIMENTAL TO THE PIGS.
FOOD AND WATER
The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000 No. 1870), Schedule 1, paragraphs 22 - 24 and 26 state that:
Good hygiene is necessary for storage and feeding systems as moulds can develop in stale feed which can have a detrimental effect on pigs. Feed bins should be cleaned out regularly.
FEED BINS HAD COCKROACH INFESTATION. PEN FOOD TROUGHS UNCLEAN WITH FEACES AND URINE.
The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003 No. 299), Schedule 6, Part II, paragraph 10 states that: Housing, pens, equipment and utensils used for pigs must be properly cleaned and disinfected as necessary to prevent cross- infection and the build-up of disease-carrying organisms.
Faeces, urine and uneaten or spilt food must be removed as often as necessary to minimise smell and avoid attracting flies or rodents.
FAECES AND URINE LEVELS SUGGEST PENS ARE NOT CLEANED REGULARLY TO A SATISFACTORY STANDARD, COCKROACH INFESTATION THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE SITE HIGHLIGHTS THIS.
The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003 No. 299), Schedule 6, Part II, paragraph 16 states that: To enable proper investigation and manipulation activities, all pigs must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of material such as straw, hay, wood, sawdust, mushroom compost, peat or a mixture of such which does not adversely affect the health of the animals.
Environmental enrichment provides pigs with the opportunity to root, investigate, chew and play. Straw is an excellent material for environmental enrichment as it can satisfy many of the pigs’ behavioural and physical needs. It provides a fibrous material which the pig can eat; the pig is able to root in and play with long straw; and, when used as bedding, straw can provide the pig with physical and thermal comfort.
NONE OF THESE WERE PRESENT AT ALL
Objects such as footballs and chains can satisfy some of the pigs’ behavioural needs, but can quickly lose their novelty factor. The long-term use of such items is not, therefore, recommended unless they are used in conjunction with materials such as those listed above, or are changed on a weekly basis.
IN PENS WITH ENRICHMENT ONLY A SINGLE CHAIN PER PEN WAS PROVIDED. OTHER PENS HAD ZERO.
THE BLACKPOOL GAZETTE