Calls for EU animal welfare rules to be enforced as country set to overtake Germany as Europe’s biggest pork producer
Footage that appears to show newborn piglets lying in faeces, pigs with pus-covered wounds and pig carcasses in varying states of decomposition has been published by animal welfare campaigners in Spain.
Spain is expected to overtake Germany this year as the EU’s biggest pork producer. In 2019, a record 53 million pigs were slaughtered across the country, fuelling demand for products such as chorizo, tenderloin and lard across the EU and around the world.
The photos and videos, recorded during undercover visits in 2019 and 2020 to more than 30 pigs farms across Spain, were published by Tras los Muros, which translates as Behind the Walls, a personal project launched by Spanish photojournalist Aitor Garmendia. Tras los Muros said the farms were in the Spanish regions of Aragón, Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León, home to around 17% of the country’s more than 86,000 pig farms.
Some of the pigs they found appeared to be “severely injured”, said Garmendia, who led the undercover team, and were thought to be showing signs of issues such as “hernias, abscesses, prolapses, arthritis or necrotic tissue”.