A commercial piggery operator, who supplies Woolworths supermarkets, has appeared in court in Tasmania on several animal cruelty charges.
Gary Oliver was charged with serious breaches after police were called to the piggery on 8 March of this year.
One of the counts of aggravated cruelty relates to a dying pig whose large shoulder wound was infested with hundreds of maggots. Other charges relate to pigs in individual sow stalls with leg wounds so severe that they were unable to weight bear and feed and as a result had become emaciated.
Despite Woolworths suppliers being required to be part of the Australian Pork Industry Quality program, it has been revealed that this piggery has not been audited by that program since November 2007.
“The vision and photographs from this piggery reveal the most appalling cruelty that I have seen in 25 years of working in animal welfare. It is inconceivable that any person could leave animals to suffer in this way,” said Animals Australia executive director Glenys Oogjes.
“The spotlight of shame not only falls on the piggery operator. Both Woolworths and the Tasmanian state government are answerable for the failure to audit and inspect this piggery. Had they done and made this piggery operator accountable – some of the worst cruelties witnessed could have been prevented.”
Woolworths is said to be working with Oliver to improve conditions at the pig farm.