Raid on Perth Pig Farm Uncovers Horrific Suffering
October 22, 2005 Western Australia, Australia

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WA Activist Guilty of Burglary
Media release: May 4, 2005

Animal Rights Advocates Coordinator Jonathan Hallett faced a magistrate today over charges of burglary for taking a sick piglet to a vet.

The charges came after he entered the premises of a piggery in Gingin in October last year to document animal suffering with video footage. The piggery confined pregnant sows in stalls so small they are unable to turn around. Whilst the use of sow stalls is allowed by industry regulations, this piggery failed to comply with even these minimum standards.

Whilst at the piggery Mr Hallett came across a lame and greatly malnourished piglet only 4 days old who was unable to be attended by his mother as she was confined in a tiny farrowing crate in which the only interaction she had with her young is her teats poking through bars.

The piglet was taken to receive urgent veterinary attention and attention by an animal carer. Oscar is now 6 months old and an excellent example of a healthy and happy pig.

Mr Hallett pleaded guilty to the charge and received a recorded conviction and fine.

Jonathan Hallett said:

“The fact that animals are regarded as property under the law and taking a sick and neglected animal to receive urgent veterinary attention is considered theft is testament to the inadequacy of our legal system to protect animals.

“I have no doubt that had anyone else been in the situation of coming across a sick and neglected animal would have disregarded the potential consequences and chosen to take the animal to receive the veterinary attention that he deserved.

“Had the legal system been sufficient to stop cruelty to farm animals I would never had needed to be there. Now more than ever the intensive pig industry has been exposed across the country and I have no doubt that sow stalls will ultimately be banned.

“The only regret that I have is that we live in a society whose legal system is insufficient to protect these animals and that it took putting myself on the line in order to show the public what is really going on behind closed doors.”

WA group Animal Rights Advocates will continue its campaign against sow stalls in collaboration with groups across Australia as the Code of Practice for Pigs is currently under review.

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