AROUND 40 activists from global animal rights movement Meat the Victims entered a farm in Northern Ireland on Tuesday morning and ‘released’ a pig, Chris McCullough reports.
Members of the group posted live video footage of their actions whilst on the farm as well as photos of the animals. Some photos contained images of dead pigs and others that had been injured.
During the course of the visit which started at 4.30am the group members, some of whom had flown into the country for the event, identified one pig that they wanted to ‘save’ and took it from the farm.
Police officers did attend the scene but later said no criminal action had taken place.
A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police received a report of a protest involving a number of people at a farm in the Cloughmills area around 4.30am in the morning.
“Police attended and spoke with the protesters who left the property shortly before 7am. There were no reports of any criminal offence during the incident.”
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) sent inspectors to the farm to investigate claims from the group that the animals were being kept in poor conditions.
A spokesman said: “DAERA is aware of an incident during the early morning of Tuesday 14th Jan on a pig farm in County Antrim. DAERA inspectors followed up on the incident and are currently investigating.
“The department is responsible under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 in respect of farmed animals,” he said.
This farm is a member of the Red Tractor quality assurance scheme which has also launched an investigation.
Meanwhile, the owners of the farm said the pigs were kept in appropriate conditions and that they were ‘healthy, well fed and warm’.
The owners also pointed out that the action by the activists had created biosecurity risks and voiced concern that they would be able to look after the pig they took.