The case of the pig macro-farm that the Salvados program denounced in 2018 is on its way to trial after the Provincial Court of Murcia has estimated the Animal Equality appeal against the file that the investigating judge had decreed. The animalist association requested that an abbreviated procedure be issued, the equivalent of prosecution for crimes punishable by less than nine years, for a crime of animal abuse against the owners, caretakers and the company that operates the farm.
In February 2018, Jordi Évole’s program on La Sexta offered a report that included shocking images of the conditions in which pigs were raised in a macro-farm in the Murcian town of Totana, which mainly supplied the meat company El Pozo, a company that He then announced that he was no longer working with the aforementioned operation. Animal Equality denounced the facts and a local court opened a case that was instructed until last November 15, when Judge María Soledad Ruzafa ordered its file by not detecting “animal abuse, neither actively, nor by omission”.
Judge Ruzafa alleged the declaration of the veterinarian in charge of the operation in the sense that those responsible for it always complied with the established protocols and did not object to the treatments that she prescribed. He also had the opinion of the judicial expert, who assured that from the observation of the images he could not conclude that there was animal abuse but only pig diseases and that, furthermore, he could not offer closed conclusions because all he had to pronounce himself on were the images of the program, without having visited the farm.
Thus, the judge took into consideration the opinions of the defense expert, who declared that the images with sick pigs and malformations were concentrated in a very specific point of the farm, which could be the infirmary or “lazaretto”. This veterinarian, who testified, added that hernia malformations are common in pigs, as well as cases of cannibalism due to their omnivorous status.
Animal Equality insisted before the Provincial Court that the situation of overcrowding of the pigs was evident, that they could not move or lie down and that the hygiene conditions were “unfortunate”. The appeal noted that the herniated deformations of the pigs evidenced “irreversible” diseases that caused them “unnecessary and prolonged suffering”, when they should have been operated on or slaughtered. The Prosecutor’s Office joined the appeal of the foundation.
Article 337 of the Criminal Code punishes with penalties of between three months and one year who “by any means or procedure unjustifiably mistreats [a un animal], causing injuries that seriously impair his health or subjecting him to sexual exploitation.” After the order of the Provincial Court, the judge must dictate another one of pass to abbreviated procedure, the last one that the parties can appeal before the opening of oral trial.
“Worst thing I’ve ever seen”
The Third Section of the Provincial Court has upheld the appeal in an order whose rapporteur, Nieves Mihí, values the testimony of the cameraman who recorded the images of the ‘Hermanos Carrasco’ farm, denying that they only captured the infirmary and adding that all the animals, healthy and sick, were mixed and that there was no separation between the pigs. She also described containers with dead pigs near the buildings and full of worms. Javier Moreno, director of Animal Equality, acknowledged having participated in the recording and declared that it was “the worst thing he had seen” in his life.
The judicial expert described the owner of the Hermanos Carrascos farm as someone “without scruples” and that the farm should be closed because it is “in a total state of abandonment.” The animals that showed the images, he added, presented “injuries compatible with a situation of abuse by omission or negligence where the necessary measures have not been taken at the right time, aimed at avoiding their continued suffering, being abandoned to their fate until they die. , being the object of cannibalism practices by their farmyard peers”.
In the same sense, the Provincial Court highlights the declaration of the inspector of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Region of Murcia, made nine months after the broadcast of the program. The official denounced the overexploitation of the facility, referring to triple the number of deaths that should correspond to the correct capacity. The inspector confirmed to the judge that sick animals cannot be mixed with healthy ones and that it is mandatory for the former to provide “precise” treatment and isolate them “in appropriate accommodation.”
The Animal Equality expert added to all this the “malpractice” detected in the castration of animals, described hernias that dragged the pigs on the ground, signs of cannibalism, presence of dead or dying animals among healthy ones. “All this maintained over time and with risk to public health,” adds the car.