Investigation: The Face of Italian “Excellence”
Animal Equality’s latest investigation has revealed pigs on a farm in Northern Italy left to suffer without care in unsanitary and dangerous conditions. The farm—located in Lombardy, Italy—produces products for the DOP (“Protected Designation of Origin”) supply chain that claims higher-quality items from regulated sources.
When packaged for grocery store shelves, these products are branded with a seal of “Made in Italy” excellence. But what investigators found was anything but “excellent.”
The Investigation Findings
Animal Equality first visited this farm in 2019 to complete a series of investigations alongside a camera crew and investigative journalist Piergiorgio Giacovazzo from Italy’s TG2—a national media outlet.
This footage was shown on TG2 and the public was shocked by the conditions on this farm. Viewers joined Animal Equality in denouncing this farm for the extreme mistreatment of its pigs. A petition was started for Italian supporters to address the Minister of Agricultural Policies, Gian Marco Centinaio, and to the Minister of Health, Giulia Grillo, asking to close this farm. Nearly 50,000 signatures have been collected in support.
Despite media coverage and public outrage, investigators recently returned to the farm to find ongoing animal cruelty and unsanitary conditions.
View the Latest Investigation:
As shown in the footage, Animal Equality’s team documented:
- Pigs and piglets left lying in agony on the feces- and urine-covered floor of their pens and in the farm’s hallways. These pigs are left to die without access to food or water and without receiving proper veterinary care.
- Mother pigs confined to cages that do not allow them to move. They are covered in sores, cysts and wounds on their bodies.
- Bodies of dead piglets that have been abandoned. Some bodies are torn apart: the heads, legs and other remains of dead baby pigs are found scattered around the farm.
- Containers and buckets filled with animal remains in non-compliance with Italian laws that regulate the disposal of dead bodies.
- Hazardous sanitary conditions with animals forced to live in dirty and dilapidated sheds infested with cockroaches. Feces were found covering the floors and even in the animals’ feeders.
Animal Equality Fights Against This Abuse
Following the investigation, Animal Equality demanded legal action be taken by local authorities. With the help of lawyer Manuela Giacomini, a criminal complaint was filed with the Public Prosecutor responsible for overseeing the mistreatment of animals.
Subsequently, some investigations were carried out by the authorities, but no charges came from their discoveries. The Public Prosecutor has requested that our complaint be dropped, but Animal Equality is fighting against this dismissal with new evidence to show our findings were not just isolated events.
We have found a judge that has agreed to hear our case, and we will continue to fight for justice.
How You Can Help:
Animal Equality has been investigating pig farms around the world since 2008—every one uncovering painful mutilations, deliberate abuse by farm and slaughterhouse workers, the deprivation of natural behaviors, and the extreme confinement of these intelligent and curious animals.
You can join our fight to end the physical and psychological trauma of animals, like pigs, trapped inside our food system by reducing your intake of animal food products. Every time you choose plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs, you are telling the meat industry you will not support this cruelty.