Wacol Pig Semen Collection Facility Investigation

WACOL FACILITY

In January (2019) Animal Liberation NSW and Animal Liberation QLD anonymously received footage from a weeklong investigation of a boar semen collection facility in Wacol, Brisbane. What they found was utterly disturbing and truely heart-breaking.

Semen collection farms are a relatively unknown facet of the industry. The boars were confined to tiny concrete cells (similar to sow stalls), leaving them unable to walk or even stretch. They were starving and thirsty and regularly abused by workers. Those with injuries or illnesses were not treated and only a select few were released from their stalls for semen collection throughout the week, while the rest remained captive in their tiny cells.

One of the boar’s muscles weakened to the point where he became stuck laying on his side, unable to reach his food and water. Instead of helping him, the workers sprayed water in his mouth with a hose and chucked his food on the filthy ground. We named him Boe – you can see his story here.

The boar’s received no enrichment, no exercise, and all showed signs of distress and boredom.

ACTION

When we received the footage our immediate concern was around the strong possibility of another boar suffering a similar fate to Boe from untreated illness and dying a slow painful death. Animal Liberation QLD immediately informed the authorities with a complaint to RSPCA QLD and passed on the video footage. RSPCA QLD acted quickly and arranged a team of inspectors and vets from both RSPCA QLD and Biosecurity QLD to conduct a surprise inspection.

OUTCOME

We understand at least one boar was euthanised that day. After that, the rest of the investigation was handed over to Biosecurity QLD. In Queensland, a Memorandum of Understanding exists in which all farmed animal issues are referred to Biosecurity QLD, which is part of the Queensland Department of Agriculture.

On receiving no further updates from Biosecurity QLD, and realising authorities were not taking this seriously, we released the footage through two videos.

First, on 6 March, Animal Liberation NSW and Animal Liberation QLD did a joint release Boe’s story. The public was outraged and shared his story, hitting over 630,000 views on Facebook.

On 11 March, we joint released the second video documenting further abuse, suffering and filthy conditions. Video footage shows the worker kicking the boars, stomping and smashing metal bars against a boar’s head. See the follow-up footage here.

After numerous follow-ups with the Department, we learned that several “direction orders” were given to the owner to rectify issues they had found in their inspection. Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed that they have been back multiple times since the initial inspection and they are satisfied that all direction orders are being adhered to. In other words, it seems they will not be taking further action and have given this place the tick of approval.

As the cages are completely legal, this means that very little has changed for the boars that may spend the rest of their lives in these filthy, rusty metal cells. From the information given to Animal Liberation QLD, the direction orders related to the untreated wounds, and the maintenance or uncleanliness of the facility. There is nothing that will give any sense of relief to these boars and nothing that will stop others from meeting a similar fate to Boe.

Despite numerous requests for further information authorities would “not comment on the outcome of any investigations”. We can, unfortunately, conclude that no charges have been laid – despite numerous animal cruelty abuses that were documented by investigators, as well as issues during the inspection by authorities.

WHAT NEXT

Sadly, this is the reality for the millions of animals who are born into the animal agribusiness industry. The system is designed to lower costs and increase “production”, leading to the legalisation of horrific cruelty, failing these animals on multiple accounts.

This investigation and the lack of prosecution and action is why Animal Liberation NSW is pushing for an Independent Office of Animal Welfare. There is a blatant conflict of interest for those responsible for enforcing animal welfare laws, as they profit off of the industry and ultimately animal suffering

We are so thankful for the selfless people who risked everything to bring this cruelty to light. Without them, the general public would remain hidden to the ugly side of animal farming. We are also thankful for those who shared the videos and petitions and are helping us form a strong fight for the animals.

Our ultimate goal is to end all animal exploitation, which is where we need you, the consumer, to make educated and kind choices. Consumers ending the demand for animal flesh and embracing change, we can ensure that these cruel facilities will cease to exist. All you have to do is choose vegan and raise awareness by sharing stories like Boe’s on social media.

Australians are against animal cruelty and together we can end the slaughter.