Once again Rai 3 broadcasts footage of our investigations
Last night, #Cartabianca (Rai 3) broadcast a story to which we contributed by accompanying a journalist inside two factory farms. The episode was dedicated to the current coronavirus pandemic and to zoonotic diseases in general.
Francesco Ceccarelli, Head of Investigations at Essere Animali, accompanied Cinzia Torriglia, a journalist from #Cartabianca, the Rai 3 programme headed by Bianca Berlinguer, to various intensive pig farms and battery hen farms to show the conditions in which animals are forced to live.
First stop: the pig farm in Brescia
The programme first showed footage from a pig farm in the province of Brescia, an area which houses more pigs than inhabitants. Dirt, mice, faeces everywhere: as the cameras show, this is the daily life of the 2-3000 animals that live on this factory farm until they reach the weight suitable for slaughter.
The animals have no room to move, are covered in their own waste and all of them have their tails cut off, a procedure that has been illegal for 20 years. In Italy, at least 9 million pigs are reared in this way. Given the conditions, it should come as no surprise that massive quantities of antibiotics are administered to the animals to stop the spread of diseases.
Our team and that of #Cartabianca also visited gestation crates where sows that have been artificially inseminated are forced to live for a month. On average, they give birth to 10-13 piglets which are subjected to tail-cutting and castration, often without anaesthesia.
Second stop: the chicken farm in Mantua
At 2 am, our investigators and the journalists arrived at a battery hen farm for the production of eggs in the province of Mantua. The farm houses some 50-60,000 animals with the cages arranged on six levels: all the hens have the tips of their beaks cut off to prevent them from hurting each other when the terrible conditions in which they live push them into aggression towards each other.
They spend their whole lives without sunlight and with their feet on a metal grid, until their productivity decreases and they are killed. Most of them have lost their neck feathers because they rub against the bars of the cages, and they are pale around the eyes because they are probably anaemic. The only light they have is artificial light, and the only time they get to see the sun is when they are loaded onto the truck bound for the slaughterhouse.
This is the norm
After years of investigations on factory farms all over Italy, we can say that the images aired on #Cartabianca last night are the norm. These are not exceptions: this is simply the reality that lies behind the major “Made in Italy” brands. Endless suffering for animals, risks to public health and the environment.
Francesco Ceccarelli, Head of Investigations, said: “Accompanying a journalist, a photographer or anyone involved in communication is another opportunity for us to show what factory farms are like, with no filters. The smell, the way the animals look at you, the sense of oppression that suffocates you: this is the reality that the industry does not want the public to know but we are here precisely for this, this is our publicity for meat, milk and eggs.”