Animal rights activists from an organisation known as “Meat the Victims”, who entered a pig farm in Co Westmeath earlier this month, have entered a pig farm in the UK.
The farm is located in Blackpool and it is understood to be affiliated with the Red Tractor Brand, supplying Morrison’s supermarket.
In the latest in a series of farm occupations, it is estimated that around 80 activists entered the farm on Monday 8 July. A large volume of footage has been broadcast, showing protestors in matching t-shirts inside the pig houses.
The group has been associated with similar protests on farms in Australia, the Netherlands and, most recently, Ireland.
The group’s actions have raised biosecurity concerns among pig farmers, at a time when there is heightened vigilance due to the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).
In response, the IFA has issued guidelines to assist pig farmers and their staff:Call the local Gardaí immediately and request their presence on-site.Call your herd veterinarian and request them on-site.Call the local Department of Agriculture district veterinary office (DVO)- you need an official on-site.
Communication among staff and family members is key and everyone must be familiar with the agreed line of action to be taken, according to the IFA.
The organisation has also issued the following advice to farmers:Do not engage with protesters in any way.Enforce a no comment policy.No abusive or threatening behaviour to the intruders.Contact your local IFA representative, a pigs committee member or county officer.Take advice and instruction from the Gardaí, the Department official and the farm vet.
Farmers should also ensure there is adequate signage warning visitors of the biosecurity protocols in place and ensure that all farm staff are aware of the possible threat of a break-in.
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