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Swedish Meats chair quits over pig scandal

Swedish Meats chair quits over pig scandal

Published: 29 Nov 2009 09:54 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Nov 2009 09:54 GMT+01:00

In addition to resigning as the chair of Swedish Meats, an association representing more than 17,000 livestock farmers in Sweden, Hultström has also resigned his posts at Sveriges Grisproducenter, and association representing Sweden's pig farmers, and the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF) as well as several other agricultural associations.

"I realize that in the current climate I can not carry out my responsibilities. I will continue to fight so that Swedish farmers should have the right to manage their farms and look after their animals, but the pressure is just too much at the moment," Hultström said in a press release.

"We will continue to supply the fine pigs that we have always done and we will continue to work on the farm. I am of course opposed to all neglect of animals - it is quite simply unacceptable. I can also understand the reactions to the film and pictures that have emerged, they have damaged the whole farming sector," he continued.

Sweden's agriculture minister Eskil Erlandsson has, together with the Swedish Board of Agriculture, invited the main pig farming organizations for talks over the scandal in Jönköping in southern Sweden on Monday.

"I presume that the organisations can demonstrate and ensure that they follow the strict Swedish legislation. I also presume that the goodwill lost can be recovered, even if it will be a long uphill struggle," Erlandsson said.

The scandal broke last week after the publishing of filmed material by animal rights group, The Animal Rights Alliance, which had visited several hundred farms across Sweden over the course of two years.

The film footage depicted widespread neglect of the animals and the group has reported more than 90 pig farmers to the police for violating Swedish animal protection laws.

Malin Gustafsson at The Animal Rights Alliance has welcomed Hultström's decision to resign.

"He is right to go. We have documented one of his farms several times and it has shown a series of very severe failings that we have reported to the police," she told the TT news agency.

"It is one of the leading representatives within the Swedish pig farming industry who is treating the animals in this way," she added.

While Eskil Erlandsson was on Saturday unwilling to comment on Hultstöm's resignation, he praised the exposure of the situation by the group.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

11:13 November 29, 2009 by livinginsweden
The government should demand that all pork be recalled becos it is unhealthy that people should buy and eat pork from those sick pigs.
12:34 November 29, 2009 by Nemesis
There is no excuse for maltreating animals in a farming situation.

An abused animal produces lower quality meat and lower quality leather.

A well looked after animal, produces better quality meat and leather.

As he was a representative of farming in Sweden, he should never be allowed to hold such a position again.

Lars Hultström is a disgrace to Swedish farming and has damaged the good reputation of Swedish farming.
14:16 November 29, 2009 by Plowbridge
Hultström at least appears ashamed of his association with this scandalous abuse of trust and mistreatment of the animals.

In a country that sees far too many people hanging on to a 'jobs for life' culture regardless of repeated incompetence and failure; it is refreshing that someone has taken responsibility for their actions and resigned.
17:18 November 29, 2009 by dwb5555
I work at pig farm in USA for sometime and I could tell by the picture that those pig were not being abused.

Come on pig die just like other animals. The pic of the pig bitting dead pigs could easliy explaining because most farms don't have personal there 24 hrs a day. So if pig dies at night which happen then the next morning when arriving to work the dead pigs are remove and from pic I seen that is what had happen.

Next putting hay down for the animal is a bad idea as most farms have hoes in the floors so that their waste is remove and they don't have to lay in it all day. If you add hay then you will cause all kinds a problems including you will not be able to use that waste to make methane which can then used to power the farms.

All animals have sores on their bodies including humans so the tink you can stop that is crazy.

I enjoy eating meat and can and have killed animal fro the purpose of eating. I have also killed pig that are sick and the best option is to end there life however I think many people today can't do that so don't really understand aniamls. I mean pig and cow are treated in a much different way than a dog.
23:36 November 29, 2009 by crofab
First off, let me just say I am not an activist or a vegetarian. I am a farmer and a master's student of sustainable development.

@dwb5555: I don't really know where to begin in addressing your comment. Well, here goes...

"I work at pig farm in USA for sometime and I could tell by the picture that those pig were not being abused." -- Although it is clear from your grammar that you are not from the States, I believe you when you say you worked at a pig farm there. And as such you have probably become immune to the suffering of those animals. The kind of life those pigs are living is abuse in itself. They stand in their own manure all day with the stench so strong that if the fans stop, they will suffocate from the ammonia. (This actually happened to a neighbor of mine who has this type of pig "farm". He went away on vacation and a power outage stopped the fans. Without anyone to run the backup generator all the pigs suffocated and died.)

"So if pig dies at night which happen then the next morning when arriving to work the dead pigs are remove and from pic I seen that is what had happen." -- It is obvious from the picture that the dead animal, which we can only assume is a pig, has been dead for quite some time. The body is badly bloated, and that doesn't just happen overnight. That is neglect, plain and simple. If a farmer cannot attend to his/her animals every day with the care and attention required, then perhaps they should consider vegetable farming...
23:38 November 29, 2009 by crofab
Comment: (Continued) "Next putting hay down for the animal is a bad idea as most farms have hoes in the floors so that their waste is remove and they don't have to lay in it all day. If you add hay then you will cause all kinds a problems including you will not be able to use that waste to make methane which can then used to power the farms." -- I spent all of last week pouring over research articles on biogas, so I can tell you with great certainty that straw (particularly when mixed with manure) is fine for producing biogas. Also, when you mix manure with straw it creates the perfect mixture for composting. Pigs love straw -- they love to play in it and they especially love to sleep on it. "All animals have sores on their bodies including humans so the tink you can stop that is crazy." -- I tell you what's crazy: thinking sores are normal and inevitable. The sores you speak of occur from pigs sleeping on concrete (which happens if you don't give them straw to lay on). Try sleeping on concrete for only one week and I bet you will get the same results. And who are these people who are covered in sores that you speak of? I don't know of any such person, and if I did I would have them see a doctor. The pigs I took care of at our farm never had any sores. Not a single one. And we never had a pig die on us either, although of course we were operating on much smaller scale. Our pigs had access to fresh grass, plenty of straw, mud holes to bathe in, fresh air, sunlight, and all the other things pigs were meant to have. Happy pigs are healthy pigs. "I enjoy eating meat and can and have killed animal fro the purpose of eating. I have also killed pig that are sick and the best option is to end there life however I think many people today can't do that so don't really understand aniamls. I mean pig and cow are treated in a much different way than a dog." -- Actually, this is where I agree with you. I also enjoy eating meat, I've killed animals, and I don't have a problem with animals dying so that I can eat meat. Look around in nature and you will see animals eating animals eating other animals. It's the circle of life. But most people are so far removed from where and how their meat is produced -- and guess what? That's the way they want it. Because when they are faced with the reality of the cruelty that exists in conventional meat production they would not want to ever eat a bite of meat again. They don't understand animals and they don't want to. So what to do if you enjoy eating meat but also care about the treatment of animals? 1. Eat less meat. It will probably do you a lot of good for your health as well. 2. Buy meat from local small-scale farmers who treat their animals humanely. Support those farmers who treat animals with dignity with your wallet (pigs raised on grass and sunlight have much better tasting meat anyway) and stop giving money to the people who are running these concentration camp meat factories. Thank you.
00:29 November 30, 2009 by dtes
animal farmers are the lowest scum in my book, right down there with child molesters and serial killers. the fact you can not empathize with another sentient being clarifies your lack of having evolved to become a civilized human worthy of respect must less worthy of sharing my oxygen, how dare you over step that and pollute my world with your nasty ways all the while exploiting innocent life forces that are less powerful than you. you are no more than a bottom feeding loser if you participate in this savage habit. I wont even go into how disgusting it is to consume all those parasites, and pesticides, and how unhealthy it is to partake in such barbaric acts. but you people get what you ask for.

i just hope you all wake up to this harsh reality and get a heart. I have been on a corpse free diet for around 8 years now, and i deprive myself of nothing. it is NO sacrifice, fact its a move up in quality of life not mention flavor and nutrition. kind regards
01:07 November 30, 2009 by ingvar
@dtes Plants are alive too. They have all properties of living organisms and It's proven they can feel pain. You eat plants means you are murderer unless you only eat fallen fruits.
02:35 November 30, 2009 by wxman
ingvar is right! Everything we as humans eat is alive. We don't have the right to kill them just so we can survive. The logical thing to do is eat nothing, that way we can protect the pristine nature that surrounds us. The world would be better off without us! We are a pestilance on the planet. /s (It's a shame I must append my remarks with the obigatory "/s" to demonstrate I'm being fecetious.)
03:01 November 30, 2009 by Davey-jo
"No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."
07:31 November 30, 2009 by Rick Methven
I come from an agricultural background and was a farmer for many years. One thing I have noticed over the years is the difference in the way that Pigs and Cattle are kept.

Generally Beef Cattle are better housed and fed than Pigs. Cattle get good clean bedding and good food (grass, Hay,silage, protean supplements etc. Pigs get poor quality housing and fed slops.

Pigs, as a single stomached animal, are closer to humans than ruminants such as cattle or sheep. They are more resilient to poor diet and can put on weight from poor quality food. Just like eating McDonald's burgers puts weight on humans.

Because of the similar metabolism, some pig farmers seem to treat their pigs like slaves where treated 200 years ago.

keep them as cheaply as possible and sell them for the greatest profit
07:59 November 30, 2009 by Da Goat
Now that lars has resigned he will have more time to care for his animals which is really good!

less officework and more fork work man!

we have a saying here "greedy will get you in a mess" how true!

one should take good care of your beasts or get out!

it does cost to take care of the environment and ones animals, one should not forget this.
08:53 November 30, 2009 by dwb5555
crofab

you know we have a saying in usa assumption are like ahole they all stink.

I was born and raised in Missouri so my poor grammer is just because I didn't take that much care about it.

second I can see from your posting that you have not actually been around pig farms.

Pig bloat up very fast after death I would say with in 4hrs of death. I can tell you I spent a summer going around to several farms examining their dead pigs for cause of death and many dye during the night.

Just to let you know that most farmers are working 12 to 14 hrs a day to take care of their animals however they can't be there 24 hrs a day.

As for animals with sore, I bet your hard pressed to find people that have not scaped their knee or other thing as kids. Remember pigs are like kids not adults.

I have not heard about hay being good for biogas however I can tell you it would cause a big mess when trying to clean up their manure, so they don't have to sleep in it everynight as they do if they were living outside in the mud.

Your friends pigs died because the pig farmers are seal up excepted for fans to prevent birds from entering which are pest and spread disease. That means no oxygen.

The problem is that consumer want cheap meat this cause farmers to raise pigs in this manner in order to make a profit which is very low. The butchers and supermarket are the ones who make the real profit

Rick Methven

Large cattle farms called feedlots are no different than pig farms and stink alot worse
10:21 November 30, 2009 by Rick Methven
"Rick Methven

Large cattle farms called feedlots are no different than pig farms and stink alot worse"

And they are fed the same crap as the pigs including animal products to a ruminant- which is why we don not want your American crap beef in Europe
15:24 November 30, 2009 by crofab
@dwb5555: "I was born and raised in Missouri so my poor grammer is just because I didn't take that much care about it."

Well it's obvious to me that you didn't take much are about your pigs either. Let pigs be pigs: give them grass, straw, sunlight, fresh air, and enough space. I guarantee you won't get sores or dead pigs. And they won't stink up your whole farm, either. The way agriculture is done in Missouri is a terrible example for the rest of the world.
19:55 December 1, 2009 by dtes
as our species evolves there will be less of this sort of thing for there is no need, a good cook would never put a corpse on their loved ones plate, not only is it nasty but it is very unhealthy, it has a foul taste and texture, its bad for the planet, spreads famine and disease, and it is cruel. I dont care if your pathetic religion condones torture exploitation, thievery, rape etc, i dont care about your ignorant attempts to justify yesterdays bad habits. but what i do care about is the helpless, voiceless victims of your savagery. You have not the right to exploit anything but yourself, if you think its important that the slaughter must go on, then throw your bloated arse on the chopping block, for YOUR´S is the only life you have the right to end! If you arent willing to do that then you are no more than a hypocritical moron with no opinion worth voicing! I mean seriously, our world would be better off without you backward religious wacko types with your tv fed unwillingness to be compassionate and intelligent at this most crucial moment. KNOW THAT THE DAYS ARE NUMBERED FOR YOUR TYPE, AND YOU WILL GET BACK WHAT YOU HAVE INFLICTED, HOW? NATURES LAW SAYS YOU WILL DO IT TO YOUR SELF!
03:45 December 2, 2009 by soultraveler3
Dwb5555, how can one person be so embarrassing?

What backwoods town did you grow up in? The fact that you don't care about education and grammer is bad. The fact that you come on here and say that those pigs weren't mistreated is even worse.

I didn't grow up on or around farms, but it's obivious from the article that the treatment of those pigs is not ok in the EU or in the US. If that's how you do things on your farm someone needs to call the humane society and report you and your employeer. If you think it's ok why not post the name and place of your farm here so it can be checked out.

I also grew up in Missouri, and am asking the others on this forum to not think that Dwb5555 is a typical person from Missouri or the states. Every country has uneducated rednecks. I will admit the states probably has a slightly higher percentange though. :)
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