nThe public prosecutor’s offices in Detmold and Münster are investigating allegations of animal cruelty on several pig fattening farms, particularly in North Rhine-Westphalia. A spokesperson for the Prosecutor General in Detmold reported on Wednesday that at the beginning of July authorities had received video material showing animals with “wounds that were not treated or not treated properly”.
“After viewing the video material, there was an initial suspicion of violating the Animal Welfare Act.” The responsible veterinary office was operated in Libby County. The accused company will now be given the opportunity to comment on the allegations for a “supplementary evaluation”.
Electric shocks and open wounds
The Munster Public Prosecutor’s Office is also investigating possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act – against three pig fattening farms. Chief Prosecutor Martin Putzenhardt said the starting point were advertisements from the German Animal Welfare Office. Advertisements are attached to USB sticks with the images currently being scanned.
According to the German Animal Welfare Office, it has footage from seven “randomly selected” suppliers that show gross abuses on pig farms. The substance was leaked to the Animal Welfare Office. Six fattening farms are located in Münsterland and East Westphalia, and one in Lower Saxony.
The video recordings, which have been recorded in the past few months according to the Office of Animal Welfare, are said to show, among other things, pigs with open wounds, some injured and bleeding animals, and some no longer able to get up on their own. . Already dead or decaying pigs can also be seen among broilers. The Bureau of Animal Protection said that in some cases, animals may be electrocuted during transportation. All responsible veterinary offices have been notified.
In all cases, these are suppliers to Westfleisch in Münster. With several million animals slaughtered annually and sales of billions, this is one of the largest pig slaughterhouses in Germany.
The Westfleisch group wants to investigate the allegations
The Westfleisch group of companies was shocked by the images of sick and injured pigs and announced several measures. “The recordings affect us as well,” Westflich confirmed when asked by the German news agency (dpa) on Wednesday. Allegations against pet owners are taken seriously and are investigated “with determination”.
“Until all allegations are definitively clarified, we reserve the right to take penalties up to and including termination of supply contracts,” the company confirmed in Monster. “For us, the welfare of the animals we keep always comes first.” In principle, suppliers are regularly checked. Anyone who does not meet the quality criteria is excluded as a supplier. “Animals unfit for transportation and slaughter were certainly not acceptable for slaughter in Westfleisch factories.”
According to Westfleisch, the focus is now primarily on three steps: “First, we are currently checking each company affected and conducting extensive private monitoring.” Second, all supplier companies should be screened at short notice, and precisely the status quo will be documented. This is also important so that the “generally excellent work of more than 3,000 contracting partners” is not called into question. In addition, Westfleisch will expand its control network.