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Investigations reveal pigs suffering on multiple farms in Spain

During an investigation into five pig farms in Spain, Animal Equality uncovered pigs with infected, painful injuries living among dead animals.
September 28, 2023 Updated: February 22, 2024
Sick pig in Spain Factory Farm

Animal Equality in Spain has investigated and documented the living conditions of animals in five pig farms.

The evidence was captured by investigators during the pigs’ fattening stage, which begins after they are weaned and separated from their mothers. As the footage shows, investigators uncovered: 

  • Painful wounds covering various parts of pigs’ bodies, including their backs, eyes, legs, necks and shoulder skin. The animals’ inflamed wounds were filled with pus.
  • Pigs with prolapsed uteruses due to the pressure of repeated pregnancies and birthing, as well as prolapsed rectums due to abdominal pressure. This abdominal pressure can be caused by constant coughing from poor air quality, constipation during pregnancy, infectious diarrhea, and the consumption of unsanitary foods. 
  • Animals with swollen genitals and teat infections from poor hygiene and a lack of care.
  • Animals suffering from a common and painful symptom called lameness. This is caused when heavy animals with unsure footing stand on slippery, concrete floors, and small wounds on their feet become infected. 
  • Painful mutilations–like tail-cutting and castration–without pain medication. 
  • Pigs living among the bodies of animals who died before making it to slaughter. Some pigs were found nibbling the dead bodies.
  • Dead rats and maggots were found in various parts of the farm, indicating poor hygiene and deplorable conditions. 

While there are laws in Spain to protect pigs from abuse, minimal government oversight leads to a high rate of non-compliance. In the factory farming industry, animals become sick and injured, with 10-15% of Spanish pigs dying before ever reaching the slaughterhouse. 

According to official data from 2022, more than 56 million pigs are slaughtered in Spain each year. While this number saw a slight decrease last year—for the first time in a decade—Spanish slaughterhouses continue to claim the lives of more pigs than any other European nation. Spain ranks third in global pig meat production. 

Animal abuse persistent in the pig meat industry

The videos and photographs obtained by our investigators show the prevalence of abuse, suffering, and neglect that pigs endure in factory farms.

In previous investigations, Animal Equality documented the mutilation of piglets–through castration, tail removal, and tooth removal–without anesthesia. The investigators found piles of dead pigs, and some corpses still among living pigs who cannibalized on them.

Investigators have stumbled upon piglets’ body parts, including heads and legs, scattered about a farm, and they’ve witnessed workers hammering piglets to death or smashing them against the walls. 

Newborn piglet agonizing in the floor of a factory farm in Northern Italy
Newborn piglet in a factory farm in Northern Italy

Often, mother pigs watch helplessly from small, metal crates as their piglets slowly succumb to diseases on factory farm floors, just barely out of their reach. 

Animal abuse is rampant in the pig meat industry, and its claims otherwise simply ring hollow. 

You can end animal cruelty

People around the world are finally learning the truth about animal cruelty through the powerful evidence captured during investigations like these. Many are turning to plant-based protein sources to combat what they’ve seen. 

By replacing meat and other animal products with compassionate and wholesome alternatives, you can defend pigs with nothing but your fork. Join millions around the world–many here in the United States–by getting started on your plant-based journey today. 

Piglet in a factory farm

SAVE ANIMALS FROM ABUSE

Pigs, cows, and other animals feel pain and deserve to be protected from abuse.

You can protect these intelligent animals by simply choosing plant‑based alternatives.

Consumers are taking matters into their own hands by signing our petition to end factory farming. Together, we can stop the meat industry from profiting from the suffering of innocent and feeling animals. 


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