Campaigners are calling for a north-east pig farm currently under investigation amid animal welfare concerns to be shut down.
Vegan Outreach Scotland held a demonstration outside Tesco in Ellon today, just a week after it emerged working practices at P&G Sleigh Pig Unit, near Oldmeldrum, were being looked into.
It comes after Animal Equity UK released graphic images of pigs suffering severe injuries and, in some instances, being hammered to death or bludgeoned against a concrete floor following an undercover investigation at the farm.
Today, activists armed with signs and leaflets gathered to spread the word and encourage people to back their petition calling for the unit to be shut down.
They collected about 100 signatures in two hours, and have also launched an online version which further asks for increased enforcement of animal welfare laws and better protection to be put in place for pigs.
Petition will be sent to law enforcement
Rebecca Knowles, director of Vegan Outreach Scotland, said: “When I saw the reports last week about P&G Sleigh pig unit, I contacted Animal Equity as I wanted to support their work and highlight their work in Ellon since it’s so close to the farm.
“We had a good response. People took leaflets that highlighted the issues and signed the petition. We’re really pleased. People were outraged to hear that the unit is still open.”
She claimed that if the video had exposed a puppy farm, it would already have been closed down and insisted more needs to be done to protect farm animals.
The petition will be sent to procurator fiscal Andy Shanks, Chief Superintendent George Macdonald, Chief Inspector John Chisholm of the Scottish SPCA and Andy McGowan, chairman of the QMS board.
Earlier this week, Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan shared the story with her 1.2 million Twitter followers and described the allegations as “very upsetting”.
The Inverness-born actress said she wanted to know how to get stronger regulations on the treatment of animals.
Scottish SPCA investigation
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA) has confirmed a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.
Philip Sleigh, who until last month was the chairman of Quality Meat Scotland’s pig standard-setting committee, owns the unit.
He declined to comment on the images, or investigation, when approached last week.
Pigs raised at P&G Sleigh Pig Unit are sent to Quality Pork Processors (QPP) at Brechin.
QPP has confirmed the animals are no longer sold to markets that require assurance standards.
The meat would previously have been supplied to major supermarkets including Lidl and Tesco, who both suspended their deal when the allegations came to light.