Attack of unknown activists on Dutch pig industry
Animal rights and agricultural organisations have reacted with dismay to illegal video footage of Dutch pig farms by the until now unknown action group ‘Ongehoord’ (Unheard).
The action group illegally entered 26 pig farms and videoed and photographed pigs that were injured, wounded, and also dead piglets in and outside barns, bar biting sows, packaging of drugs and stun guns. Many of these farms had specific animal welfare and/or organic credentials.
The barns ofAnnechien ten Have, the chair of the pig division of Farmers Union LTO, were illegally visited three times. She said she feels that the break-in at the stables was like a personal attack. During a late night show interview it was obvious that she was still in dismay about the occurrence.
LTO-chairman, Albert Jan Maat, called the footage a deliberate and totally illegal action against pig farming. He said he fully supported Mrs Ten Have, because she is a strong supporter of communication between pig farmers and consumers and has nothing to hide.
Also action group ‘Wakker Dier’, which is very active in radio commercials that try to influence the general public to buy organic, said the footage was illegal and disapprove of it. “With this type of illegal action you don’t support the animals. If you want to take action you have to do that within the framework of the law,” it said.
Spokesman of the action group ‘Ongehoord’, Johan Boonstra, said they were not interested in improving animal welfare of pigs, and were against any form of pig farming.
Farmers will file charges with the police against the action group. They are also worried about animal health, because the activists visited several barns in one night and thus could carry bugs from one barn to the other.