May 15, 2019 | Story | No Comments
A large group of vegan activists have occupied a pig farm in the Netherlands, protesting the suffering of animals. Local farmers have responded in force, grilling meat outside the farm and flipping the activists’ cars.
The activist group calling itself ‘Meat the Victims’ arrived at the farm in Boxtel, near the Belgian border, on Monday morning. Video footage shows the group breaking into a barn housing sows and their piglets, and describing the conditions within.
Save for one injured-looking animal seen at the end of the video, none of the pigs appear mistreated. However, as vegan activists, ‘Meat the Victims’ argue that the breeding and confinement of animals is in itself an act of cruelty.
While some activists camped out in the pigsties, others stood in the farmyard chanting “What do we want? Animal liberation!” and “if you have nothing to hide, let the media go inside!”
Police soon showed up and surrounded the farm, negotiating with the activists camped inside. A spokeswoman for a pork producers’ association condemned the occupation, and said that “for this group of people, pork farmers can never do good enough.”
The mayor of Boxtel has also declared the demonstration “unacceptable.”
The real trouble started when local farmers descended on the scene to stage their own counterprotest. The disgruntled farmers set up barbeques and began flame-grilling sausages and pork shoulder, presumably traumatizing both pig and vegan alike.
The farmers soon became angrier, with some flipping cars that the activists had parked nearby. Several of the vehicles had Belgian and German registration plates, suggesting that the eco-activists had came from abroad for the protest.
As night fell, police continued to negotiate with the activists inside, and said they were looking for “a constructive solution that minimises risks to human and animal welfare.” Shortly after 10.30pm local time, the vegans announced they were “going to leave.”
The occupation was not a flash in the (frying) pan. ‘Meat the Victims’ protesters have broken into farms in Australia, Canada, Spain and the UK. While the scenes documented by the activists in Boxtel were tame, undercover footage shot by other groups has often captured horrific scenes at Dutch pig farms.
An undercover investigation by Dutch-Belgian NGO Animal Rights last November found workers kicking wounded pigs at two farms in the towns of Lunteren and Nuenen. Extremely disturbing footage showed dead and injured pigs, many with festering abscesses on their bodies, kept next to healthy animals in filthy pens.
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