Vegan activists protest at Marton pig farm - but farmer says he has nothing to hide

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Animal rights activists who say they discovered 'hundreds' of pigs 'covered in their own waste in filthy pens' at a Blackpool farm have turned out in protest.

An action group from 'Meat The Victims' entered Moss Rose Piggeries off Dickies Lane today in a peaceful protest to 'highlight the realities of pig farming'.

Protesters from Meat The Victims at Moss Rose Piggeries

Protesters from Meat The Victims at Moss Rose Piggeries

A spokesman said: "This will expose to the public the reality of animal agriculture and raise awareness of how they can help stop the unnecessary exploitation and deaths of farmed animals by adopting a vegan lifestyle."

But farmer Wayne Baguley said that the farm had been thoroughly inspected by the relevant authorities, and that he had nothing to hide.

He said: "(Meat The Victims) came this morning. I asked them to leave politely. They said they weren't leaving and I'd have to phone the police, and that's what I did.

"They said the pigs were not kept in a good state and tried to encourage me into a confrontation, but I rose above it.

Protesters from Meat The Victims at Moss Rose Piggeries

Protesters from Meat The Victims at Moss Rose Piggeries

"It's their right to protest if they want to do that, but I don't think they should have the right to trespass on anybody's property."

The protest follows an investigation carried out by Meat The Victims' activists at the farm from April to June 2019, during which they say they discovered pigs kept in poor conditions which they believed violated rules set out by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs and Red Tractor, a leading farm and food assurance scheme.

But Mr Baguley said the farm had been inspected three times by the DEFRA, Red Tractor and the companies they supply to since the investigation.

He said: "(Meat The Victims) are supposed to have been before two or three months ago, but it was in the night. I have been inspected three times since they supposedly came and there was one incident in one inspection that two of the 90 water drinkers for the pigs were blocked. We check the water every day so it would have been found, but we hadn't got to that point.

"My vet will be arriving soon to check on the pigs' welfare. He came a few weeks ago and it all passed.

"We reclaim waste food to feed our pigs on. They lie outside in the yard; in hot weather they will lie in their own mess to keep cool like they do in the fields."

Meat The Victims said: "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 onsite 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 bloodstains were seen on the floor and walls.

"Another major cause for concern is the number of cockroaches seen to be covering the walls and infesting food trolleys in the facility."

Protesters remain outside the the farm, which is Red Tractor approved and a supplier to Morrisons supermarket.