Animal rights group film cruelty shock

In a major blow to the Farm Assurance scheme, which helps promote Scottish red meat, Philip Sleigh who helped draw up the health and welfare standards for the pig industry, has been accused of breaking these very same standards on his own indoor unit near Old Meldrum Aberdeenshire.

Undercover filming by animal rights group, Animal Equality shows pigs apparently being hammered to death as well as sows appearing to carry injuries.

Farm Assurance was introduced in Scotland in the late 1980s and with on-farm inspections, it gave the pig sector an edge in a market-place often plagued with rumours of poor animal welfare.

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Sleigh was a strong supporter of Farm Assurance, stating in 2019 that the sector’s passion and pride ensured a better product for the consumer:

“Animal welfare is always top of our agenda, so to have the Scottish SPCA approving our farm is a badge of honour for what we do.”

His enthusiasm for the scheme saw him promoted onto the noard of Quality Meat Scotland, the country’s red meat body, where he served as chair of the Pigs Standards committee

Yesterday his name had been removed from the QMS website. A spokesperson said he was no longer a member of the QMS board nor any committee and the firm’s quality assurance membership had been withdrawn.

The National Pig Association said that any welfare allegations should be investigated immediately by the relevant authorities – but also questioned why Animal Equality had waited four months to report the incident.

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