They represent the image of a meat company that values animal welfare. They receive hundreds of thousands of euros from the EU for animal welfare improvements. However, activists are now uncovering the most severe animal cruelty at seven Westfleisch suppliers and are publishing shocking videos.
According to animal rights activists, pigs were massively tortured and abused in seven suppliers to the Westfleisch meat group based in Münster, Westphalia. Video and image recordings that have been made in the past few months show injured and dead animals, according to the German Animal Welfare Office. Six companies from North Rhine-Westphalia and one company in Lower Saxony are affected.
According to the information, the image material shows some seriously injured animals that were not treated by a veterinarian. The recordings also show bloody bitten ears and tails. In a supplier company in Hessisch Oldendorf, Lower Saxony, employees are said to have abused the pigs with electric shockers during transport to the slaughterhouse.
"The massive use of the e-shocker is prohibited by law for good reason, but in this company it is obviously part of everyday life," explained Jan Peifer, CEO of the German Animal Welfare Office. Employees of a company in North Rhine-Westphalia are said to have tortured pigs with electric shockers.
However, consumers are led to believe the opposite. In its "Farmers' Love Branded Meat Program" the Westfleisch company promotes "more animal welfare, sustainability and appreciation for the farmers." The pigs are doing well, they even have activity material to play with.
According to the German Animal Welfare Office, some of the affected suppliers have even received subsidies from the European Union for animal welfare improvements. Because the companies take part in the "animal welfare initiative", they have received around 200,000 euros in EU subsidies for environmental and animal welfare improvements in recent years, as the portal finanznachrichten.de reports. "The animals don't benefit from that, they suffer," Peifer continued. According to their own statements, the animal rights activists have filed criminal charges with the public prosecutor's office against all seven companies and informed the responsible veterinary office.