Spanish NGO exposes horrific conditions at pig farm in Burgos
An investigation by the Spanish NGO Animal Welfare Observatory (OBA) has revealed the appalling conditions at a pig farm located in Quintanilla del Coco, Burgos, with a capacity for about 5,000 pigs. The investigation, including a shocking video shared with EL PAÍS, shows seriously injured pigs, food contaminated by feces and rats, and “frequent cannibalistic behavior,” according to the complaint filed by OBA in the court of first instance and investigation in Lerma (Burgos). The owner of the farm, Domingo del Pozo Martínez, has been certified with two animal welfare seals issued by AENOR and IRTA, despite the notorious conditions.
EL PAÍS verified that the ground around the farm was filled with skulls, hooves, bones, and decomposing corpses of pigs. A neighbor who became aware of the horrifying conditions infiltrated the farm several nights and recorded videos that confirmed the grave mistreatment of the animals.
For more than four years, the farm has had the Welfair animal welfare certification, but after emergency inspections by AENOR and IRTA, the certification has been suspended and the farm has been removed from the Welfair system. Despite the alarming evidence against the farm, the owner and the Department of Agriculture of Castilla y León maintain that everything is in order.
AENOR, the company that audited the farm six times, has stated that more measures must be taken, and the NGO is requesting more structural measures to ensure the welfare of animals in certified farms. This information comes as part of the fourth investigation by the Animal Welfare Observatory against suppliers of a German supermarket chain, with complaints filed in both Spain and Germany.
The NGO is considering a second complaint for a crime against the environment due to the dumping of bodies around the farm, and the company in charge of transporting the pigs is also implicated for reported continuous mistreatment of the pigs before transport. The situation highlights the continued struggle for animal welfare in the agricultural industry and the responsibility of certifiers to ensure proper treatment of animals.