Münster/Detmold (dpa/lnw) - After allegations of animal cruelty in several pig farms, especially in North Rhine-Westphalia, the public prosecutor's office in Detmold is also investigating. At the beginning of July, the authorities received video material showing animals with "injuries that were not or not properly treated", reported a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office on Wednesday. "After viewing the video material, there was an initial suspicion of a violation of the Animal Welfare Act." The responsible veterinary office in the Lippe district was switched on. For the "supplementary assessment", the accused company will now be given the opportunity to comment on the allegations.
According to the German Animal Welfare Office, it has footage from seven "randomly selected" suppliers showing drastic abuses in the pig farms. The material was leaked to the Animal Welfare Office. Six of the fattening farms are located in Münsterland and East Westphalia, one in Lower Saxony. In all cases, these are suppliers to the Westfleisch company in Münster. With several million slaughtered animals per year and billions in sales, this is one of the largest pig slaughterhouses in Germany. Westfleisch initially did not respond to a dpa request.
The video recordings, which according to the animal welfare office were made in the past few months, are said to show, among other things, pigs with open wounds, some injured, bleeding animals, some of which can no longer get up on their own. Dead or already decomposed pigs can also be seen between the fattening animals. In some cases, animals were abused with electric shockers during transport, according to the animal welfare office. All responsible veterinary offices have been informed.