Audits find no evidence of cruelty on pig farms

Evidence from independent audits have shown that the Animal Aid allegations of cruelty and malpractice on British farms were unfounded.

The audits were triggered following allegations of cruelty, made by the campaigning company Animal Aid, against 10 English pig farms (The Independent, 18 June 2008). They were conducted by assessors from one of three independent certification bodies, CMI, PAI or SAI Global, and took place on 19, 20 and 23 June.

The full results of the independent audits were six of the 10 farms were passed as being in complete compliance with assurance standards. One farm had a minor non-conformance for records management. Two farms had minor non-conformances relating to general wear and tear of buildings and equipment. These non-conformances have been rectified and the units passed. The remaining farm had no pigs at the time of the independent audit, having taken the decision to wind down production prior to the covert filming, due to economic pressures on the industry.

The farm assurance standards (; ) cover more than 100 requirements that assured producers must comply with.

A number of the farms have also been inspected by the government agency Animal Health and no problems have been reported.

The RSPCA has also confirmed that it had responded on the same day to a complaint from Animal Aid about what they described as "the worst farm out of the 10 we visited". The RSPCA inspector who visited the farm on 9 April reported that there was no cause for concern about the pigs on the farm.

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