Questions surrounding the legitimacy of vegan activists have been circulating the industry after a pig farmer was battered with accusations about the welfare of his animals.
Brian Hobill of Hogwood Farm, Oxhill, was thrown into the national headlines in June when animal rights group Viva! Campaigns produced an undercover film of what they called ‘disturbing scenes’, accusing the farm of forcing cannibalism and failure to dispose of dead pigs ‘in varying states of decay’.
On Monday (July 10) more than 50 protestors descended at the farm gates with a petition to close the farm down and push the government ‘to hold Hogwood accountable for its wrongdoings’.
But the accusations led to speculation when the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) visited the pig unit and confirmed: “At the time of my visit I found no evidence of unnecessary suffering among the animals which I saw and that, as far as could be ascertained at that time, the welfare legislation appeared to be complied with.”
Mr Hobill said he had CCTV footage of the campaigners manipulating the scene which he thought would affect the film’s accuracy and intent.
A farm spokesman told the national press: “What we have got here is a well-established business that is audited on a regular basis that complies with all animal welfare standards.
“We have got references here from the veterinary surgeon who has been coming here for over 10 years. She was here two weeks previously before the incursion by Viva!.”
The APHA said potential breaches of animal welfare legislation were taken ‘very seriously’ and where welfare regulations are breached, ‘appropriate action is taken’.