Northern Ireland news

Animal rights group says it rescued pig from Co Antrim farm

Animal rights activists in Cornmarket, Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

AN animal rights group has said it rescued a pig from a Co Antrim farm as part of its campaign to highlight intensive farming practices.

The Meat the Victims vegan group held a protest at Belfast's Cornmarket yesterday to raise awareness of how pigs are raised.

Spokesman Andrew Goti said the group made an unannounced visit to a farm several days ago.

"Most of our work is trying to make farming more transparent to the public, particularly pig farming," he said.

He said the group, including his wife Tuesday Goti, visited the farm and later informed police of their actions. They also took some footage of the pigs.

"They went in with their biohazard suits and masks on. They didn't touch the pigs because they didn't want to distress them and took the footage," he said.

He added: "I wasn't there myself. I was providing media support."

Mr Goti said the group asked for some of the pigs to be removed from the farm and cared for in a rescue centre.

He said it was agreed that one pig be given to the group and taken to a sanctuary.

Mr Goti said pigs are typically kept in very tight spaces.

"Mother sows are locked in a farrowing crate - a metal cage where they can't turn around - that's 36 weeks of the year," he said.

"They are impregnated, they have their litter of piglets who will suck on their teats. They can be terribly uncomfortable but they can't get away. They can't enjoy their natural behaviours of rooting and foraging."

He said the group wants to see an end to the farming of animals.

"So many exposés have showed that you can't (humanely) farm an animal that doesn't want to die," he said.

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