'Hell Hole' Pig Farm Closes After Expose Reveals Squalid Conditions

The farm previously passed an audit by food label Red Tractor - despite the grim conditions captured on camera
Conditions on the farm were extremely grim (Photo: Viva!)

A pig farm described as a 'hell hole' by investigators has closed down - a year after an expose revealed squalid conditions.

Campaigners from leading animal charity Viva! obtained the footage of Lambrook Pig Unit - a factory farm in Somerset.

It was also revealed in a major expose by The Daily Mail that slurry from the facility was being pumped to a nearby green power plant and converted into biogas – some of which was burnt to make electricity for the national grid and the firm Good Energy.


According to a spokesperson for Viva!: "At Lambrook Pig Unit (Crockway Farms), located in Somerset, 'fattening' pigs destined for the dinner table were shown to be living in shockingly squalid conditions.

"The disturbing footage revealed both dead and alive pigs lying in their own excreta with the only mental simulation for these intelligent animals being chains hanging from the ceiling.

"Sadly, this lack of real environmental enrichment is entirely legal."


Footage from Viva!'s investigation


According to Viva!, it immediately reported its concerns to the relevant authorities - but more than 12 months later, it has still not received a response.

The spokesperson said: "Unfortunately the lack of communication is not surprising. In our experience it is rare for us to receive responses - even rarer for there to be a prosecution.

"After being made aware of the terrible conditions, the farm was audited by Red Tractor, (who supposedly promote and regulate food quality in England, Northern Ireland and Wales), and passed. So much for claims of Britain having the best animal welfare in the world."

'No comment'

When quizzed about the reason for the closure of Lambrook Pig Unit, JMW Farming refused to comment.

The lack of comment has led Viva! to speculate that negative exposure via the investion and Daily Mail expose led to the unit closing.


Juliet Gellatley, Viva!'s Founder and Director, said: "The pigs at Lambrook Farm were condemned to a short existence living amongst their own waste, and sometimes with the dead. The very bare minimum was being done to remain inside the law, but the conditions were appalling.

"We are delighted to discover that following our investigation the farm is now closed. However, millions of animals around the UK are incarcerated in similar hellholes.

"The only way to stop this abhorrent industry is to reject factory farming and try vegan."

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself. 

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PBN Contributor:

Maria is the Editor of Plant Based News. A former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers. She was previously the editor of Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.

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