Save the Pembrokeshire #53Pigsadmin
We have recently instructed solicitors about the fate of 53 pigs. The pigs in question have already endured and been rescued from unimaginable cruelty yet are still facing imminent death.
The pigs were recently rescued from Bramble Hall Farm in Wales after an investigation into an illegal ‘smokies’ slaughterhouse being operated on the premise. Smokies are a delicacy in West Africa, but have been outlawed by the European Union in 1987, due to public health concerns. Serious welfare concerns were also reported at the farm.
However, in a cruel twist of fate the 53 pigs rescued have had a destruction order placed on them by the Magistrates Court after an application from Pembrokeshire County Council, due to the risk that they may have consumed dead animals on the farm and therefore possibly contracted Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE), the same disease that was prevalent in the 80s and 90s in cows (BSE).
Whilst the disease is serious, the council confirmed to us that the only concern with regard to public health is if the animals enter the food chain, something we can ensure will not happen if the pigs are handed over to a sanctuary.
However, the council says it will only consider handing over to a sanctuary if it is unsuccessful in first attempting to sell the pigs and recoup costs, something it cannot do unless DEFRA confirms there is not a risk of TSE.
It is sad that after all the animals have endured, they still face slaughter, either wastefully under the current destruction order or under normal slaughter for the food chain if the TSE risk is lifted. This is despite the fact a sanctuary is willing to take them on, which will avoid any risk whether the pigs have TSE or not.
We have been informed by our solicitors, Advocates for Animals, that the irony of the council’s behaviour is that it is using powers under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, an act designed to safeguard the welfare of the animals. Whilst destruction of an animal can be carried out under this act it must be done for welfare reasons, not public health. Ordering such an action where there is no longer a welfare concern makes a mockery of the act.