Special Report: Pig Rescue
Friday, 10th December 2010

Up­roar and An­i­mal Lib­er­a­tion Vic­to­ria have teamed up to save pigs from slaugh­ter this Christ­mas. Our un­der­cov­er in­vesti­ga­tion at a pig­gery in North­ern Vic­to­ria aims to draw at­ten­tion to the mis­er­able lives ex­pe­ri­enced by over five mil­lion pigs raised for slaugh­ter in Aus­tralia each year. We al­so res­cued two pi­glets, Co­co and Chloe, who were in ur­gent need of ve­t­eri­nary at­ten­tion, and who are now fight­ing for their lives.

Sav­ing Chloe

Our res­cue teams gained ac­cess to a shed where preg­nant pigs are en­closed in small far­row­ing crates. This is where they give birth and nurse their new­born ba­bies through me­t­al bars. Th­ese crates are so small the pigs don’t have enough room to turn around. Such ‘nurseries’ are where al­most all of the pigs killed in Aus­tralia for their meat are born.

Pig in farrowing crate

The on­ly time she will see the light of the sun is when she is trucked to the slaugh­ter­house. She will nev­er know free­dom.

The new­born ba­bies have their teeth clipped, their tails cut off, and are cas­trat­ed with no pain re­lief. Th­ese mu­ti­la­tions all hap­pen in front of their mother who can on­ly watch hel­p­less­ly from be­hind her bars. She will spend her en­tire life on me­t­al floors in th­ese small far­row­ing crates and equal­ly small sow stalls, re­peat­ed­ly im­preg­nat­ed so that her chil­dren can be tak­en and slaugh­tered for food. This ends when she is no longer eco­nom­i­cal­ly vi­able and is sent to the same slaugh­ter­house where so many of her chil­dren were killed be­fore her.

Farrowing crate

No bed­d­ing is pro­vid­ed.

In one far­row­ing crate we found a mal­nour­ished pi­glet who was bare­ly able to walk or open her eyes, she was shiv­er­ing and be­ing walked over by her larg­er brothers and sis­ters. It was ob­vi­ous that with­out ur­gent ve­t­eri­nary at­ten­tion she would not have long to live.

Chloe shiv­er­ing and bare­ly able to walk

We could not leave her there to slow­ly die.

Chloe on her way to free­dom and ve­t­eri­nary care. Thanks to the Up­roar and ALV res­cue teams Chloe now has a fight­ing chance, and if she sur­vives will be lov­ing­ly cared for, and be able to live out the rest of her life in free­dom

The sows we ob­served dur­ing our in­vesti­ga­tion were clear­ly mis­er­able. Many of them had large scab­by wounds on their bodies and sev­er­al had open wounds on their teats. Be­cause of the me­t­al bars they are un­able to prop­er­ly nur­ture or in­ter­act with their young. Their dee­p­ly root­ed in­st­incts to build nests, wal­low in mud, dig for roots, give birth in pri­va­cy, watch over, pro­tect and bond with their ba­bies are com­plete­ly ig­nored.

Up to 90% of sows ex­hib­it be­haviours which in a hu­man could be di­ag­nosed as signs of clin­i­cal de­pres­sion, in­clud­ing se­vere list­less­ness, apa­thy, glazed eyes and lack of re­spon­sive­ness.

Young pigs wean na­t­u­ral­ly at the age of three months, but on the fac­to­ry farm they are abrupt­ly re­moved at 3-4 weeks. The sow is then re­turned to the sow stall and im­preg­nat­ed again, to be­gin the whole mis­er­able cy­cle once more.

In another far­row­ing crate we ob­served a pi­glet whose leg was so in­flamed she was un­able to walk, she could on­ly move by drag­ging her­self along the floor with her front legs. There were no signs that she had re­ceived any ve­t­eri­nary care for this crip­pling in­flam­ma­tion.

Co­co's joints were so in­flamed she could on­ly drag her­self along the floor

Co­co's in­juries be­ing as­sessed by the res­cue team

Co­co on her way to re­ceive ve­t­eri­nary care. She is in a lot of pain as she heals, but the vet is pos­i­tive about her chances

We al­so took in sev­er­al box­es of tas­ty fruit and veg­eta­bles for the pigs, which they hap­pi­ly gob­bled down.


Some of the ba­bies we couldn't res­cue. Un­for­tu­nate­ly for them as long as peo­ple keep eat­ing meat they will die ter­ri­fied at the slaugh­ter­house

Our teams then en­tered one of the ‘grow­er’ sheds to doc­u­ment the con­di­tions in­side. When the pi­glets are tak­en from their mothers this is where they go to be fat­tened up for slaugh­ter.

Life in the 'grow­er' shed

Wait­ing to die. It's a pig's life

Res­cue Video

This video tak­en by our res­cuers shows the mis­ery en­dured dai­ly in­side Aus­tralian pig farms.

Lat­est Up­date

Up­date: Read about how Co­co and Chloe are do­ing post res­cue >

You can help!

The kin­d­est ac­tion you can take to help an­i­mals this Christ­mas is not eat­ing them. Vis­it Ve­g­an Easy for a huge range of de­li­cious cru­el­ty free Christ­mas recipes.

Don’t for­get to sign up at the top of this page to re­ceive your free per­so­n­alised e-Card which you can use to let the world know you care about an­i­mals and re­fuse to eat them. Th­ese are ­great to use on your Face­book or Twit­ter ac­counts to draw at­ten­tion to the suf­fer­ing of pigs on fac­to­ry farms.

Make a Comment
  • thank you for all you do, for the efforts you put in, much appreciated

  • you guys rock. its a shame about the other pigs, they look so sad. well done on the two little pigs you saved

  • Thanks for caring & acting on it. If only more people were like you.

  • you are such treasures, your out there in the field doing the work may i say a big thankyou to you all from the fellow creatures you have saved.

  • This is a horror scene: the pigs must endure such a level of suffering and a zero quality of life that death would be a release.

  • wow, i’m so happy you guys rescued those pigs.. i wish i could rescue all of them and give them all appley-treats and lovely things.

    Wow though, you do wonderful work.

  • I could seriously cry looking at these images. I am also ashamed to be Australian when we have a Government who have allowed such cruel practices for years. While they are slowly phasing them out it makes you ask: why the hell do you need five years to phase it out. Do it right now. If I can say no to bacon and pork why can’t the fat ugly politicians and farm owners. And to think we call Australia a developed nation! We are third world the way we treat these beautiful animals.

  • I love em so much, its incredible! They are all so gorgeous. But their conditions are horrific and torture. It is evil!

  • Keep up the fight we all know it works………… GO TEAM CC

  • Thank you wonderful people so very much for all that you do and all the little hearts that you make sing when you rescue them. I myself rescued a pig 12 months ago – I now have Eric at 150kgs who happily sleeps with my dogs. It truly warms my heart to know that some people can look into those almost human eyes and want to help them. Bless you all xx

  • You are amazing, doing the BIGGEST thing you can do in the world. Saving someone´s life :) Thank you so much

  • These stories are so heartbreaking. When we will learn? But until then thank you to the angelic warriors who stand up for those who can’t.

  • bonjour,félicitation pour ce que vous faites ceci est de la compassion,
    si cela peut faire réagir beaucoup de personne sur la réalité de la souffrance.
    Bonne continuation pour ce combat.

  • Thank you so much, I love you!
    Their eyes made me cry, I don’t even have to see the sick ones or the poor MOMMIES, their eyes!
    Their eyes!
    I will never understand non-vegans, they are paying for heartless people to do this to Animals, how can they sleep at night!

  • This has honestly brought me to tears! I am disgusted to say the least that this action of the cruel careless people are doing! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what the rescue team did! I don’t know what I would do if I ever have to encounter these ugly nasty people who treat these amazing animals like this. My heart is broken for these poor ill treated pigs.

  • THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO.How can someone join your organization?

  • Thank you so much for saving two little pigs, but its a shame about the other pigs. It is impossible living in that horrible condition. Meat is not necessary and no good for our health. Please, go veg everybody!