Video shot inside an Abbotsford hog farm showing pigs with a variety of medical ailments is too short and lacks the context necessary to judge whether anything wrong took place, a director for the BC Pork Producers Association says.
On Wednesday, PETA released a video that showed the corpses of dead piglets among live animals, hogs with a variety of medical ailments, and some pigs living in very tight confines.
PETA said the footage was shot inside Excelsior Hog Farm on Harris Road, near the Abbotsford-Mission Highway. The BC Pork Producers have not disputed that the video came from the Abbotsford farm.
Marcie Moriarty, the SPCA’s chief prevention and enforcement officer, said the video raises serious questions. She said the organization will inspect the site “to determine what practices are occurring on this farm.”
Chad Goertzen, a BC Pork director, told The News Thursday that the one-minute, 43-second video lacks the background information to determine why the pigs were observed in such conditions.
“It’s unfair to judge such a short video,” he said. “There needs to be a third-party audit and inspection.”
Goertzen said he didn’t want to comment on scenes in the video without that information, and said a swine veterinarian will be visiting the farm this week.
Goertzen said improvements have been made in both how hogs are reared and the rules that govern farmers in recent years.
The video showed female hogs in tight cages in which they can barely move and says they “spend most of their miserable lives” in that condition.
But Goertzen said that’s not true anymore.
“They’re only in their for a short period of time before the animals are moved into group housing,” he said.
Goertzen said local hog farms are family run and pride themselves on caring for their pigs.
“Animal welfare is extremely important to us,” he said. “I believe that all farmers are proud of what we do.”
Goertzen also confirmed that the farm is owned by a fellow director with the BC Pork Producers.
In a press release Wednesday, Goertzen noted that the video had been taken “by a trespasser at night.”
The video, which appears to have been shot by hand, was taken at the same Harris Road farm where hidden cameras had been discovered last month. Police at the time said there were no suspects.
Dan Paden, PETA’s vice-president of evidence analysis, said the video was submitted anonymously to the organization, but that he knows the person who sent it.
He said PETA did not place the cameras and he does not know who did so.