Company. A new investigation of L214 identifies Herta and a pig farm

The images speak for themselves: dead pigs scattered on the ground, animals parked in cages that they can’t even turn around… The new investigation by the association L214 denounces a farm in Ortillon, in the ‘Aube, which supplies in particular Herta, a brand that claims be “respectful of animal welfare”.

In addition to filing a maltreatment claim, L214 also filed a consumer misconduct claim. It also asked Herta, through an online petition, to commit to banning intensive swine farming from its supply chain, and requested an administrative appeal to cancel the site extension, which is expected to soon increase to 25,000 pigs.

beaten animals

L214 points to numerous regulatory violations. The investigation video (WARNING: some scenes may shock) shows that weak piglets, which do not have great sales potential, are beaten on the floor. Several of them are dying on the ground, as the collected images reveal.

The animals also have their tails cut off, which is forbidden to practice routinely by decree of January 16, 2003. Their teeth are systematically cut with tweezers and they are also castrated alive by tearing the tissues, witness L214. While live castration is permanently banned as of December 31, 2021, tissue tearing has been illegal since 2001.

Among the other infractions, pregnant sows that “do not have water all the time” or “dirty facilities and feeders infested with parasites”, notes the statement from L214.

Medicines considered of “critical importance” by the WHO

The animal protection association also notes that sick pigs are not always treated. And when they are, a battery of antibiotics is administered, including some listed on the WHO’s list of “critically important” drugs: colistin, apramycin and lincomycin.

The first of the three “contributes to amplifying the threat of antibiotic resistance,” notes L214. This phenomenon tends to make a bacterium resistant to antibiotics. The association adds, among other things, that the pigs, despite ingesting these drugs, “do not survive” and “die on the spot”.

Herta will launch an audit

In a press release released shortly before the video was released, the company said it had been informed “of the imminent publication of an incriminating video against a pig farm”. She states that she “will review this video as soon as it has access to the footage, and will launch an audit.” “If in fact there are breaches of the rules in this creation, Herta will be able to take all the consequences”, adds the group, lamenting “the relentlessness of the L214 against the creation”.

Questioned by AFP, the Ministry of Agriculture and Troyes’ prosecutor did not respond on Wednesday night. The municipality of Aube, for its part, declined to communicate.

Like the LDC group a few weeks ago, Herta stands out for its communication and for its “preferred sector”, which is said to be committed to the beginnings of a modern and more responsible creation. But in December 2020, another L214 investigation had already revealed inadequate breeding conditions at a site in Allier, providing the Herta brand to that same sector.

An investigation led British supermarket chain Waitrose to pull Herta pork products from its shelves.

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