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Recent undercover footage from a UK slaughterhouse has revealed the unsettling treatment of pigs before slaughter, leading to calls for an investigation into the use of CO2 gas. The footage, allegedly taken at Pilgrim’s Pride abattoir in Ashton-under-Lyne, shows pigs being herded into a cage and lowered into a Butina gas chamber. The animals seem to be in severe distress as the gas concentration increases.

Source: Joey Carbstrong/Youtube

Animal welfare experts have condemned the use of CO2 to stun pigs, calling the method “utterly inhumane.” The footage, recorded for the film Pignorant by animal activist Joey Carbstrong, underscores the need for change. Carbstrong believes that the continued use of CO2 is due to prioritizing corporate profit over animal welfare.

Pilgrim’s Pride, a subsidiary of the Brazilian-owned meat producer JBS, has committed to the humane treatment of all pigs under their care. The company confirms that all of their pigs are stunned using CO2.

In 2003, the Farm Animal Welfare Council, a government advisory body, called for the phasing out of CO2 stunning. Despite this, its use has increased to 88 percent of all pigs in 2022. The European Food Safety Authority has identified high concentrations of CO2 as a “serious welfare concern” due to the pain, fear, and respiratory distress it causes in animals.

Defra-funded research recently examined low atmospheric pressure stunning (LAPS) as a potential alternative but concluded that it is not a humane option. Peter Stevenson, head of policy at Compassion in World Farming, urges the government to ban the use of high levels of CO2 by 2026.

There is no such thing as ethical meat, and there is no way of knowing how the animals have been treated before they reach your plate. The most ethical option is to ditch meat as well as other animal products entirely and go vegan.

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Speak Up Tee By Tiny Rescue: Animal Collection

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