Response 705427304

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4. Please provide your comments on the environmental permit application received from Mr and Mrs Kirkwood

Please provide your comments on the environmental permit application received from Mr and Mrs Kirkwood (Required)
P.S. Kirkwood, Poplar Farm, Rimswell, Withernsea, East Yorkshire, HU19 2BZ This farm has been found repeatedly violating environmental and animal welfare regulations and should not be given the opportunity to expand and cause more animals to suffer. We object to this planning application based on our recent investigation of this farm. Animal Equality conducted an investigation at Poplar Farm, Rimswell, visiting the farm between 22nd – 24th September, 2017. The purpose was to ascertain whether conditions had improved since a previous investigation by Viva in 2015 revealed welfare violations on the farm which were reported to Defra and Red Tractor at that time. We found serious breaches of animal welfare and environmental protection regulations, as well as a number of breaches of the Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock: Pigs, and the Red Tractor Pig Standards which we have detailed below. Evidence can be provided including GPS reading, photos and video footage. 1. Dead stock left out in the open On the night of Friday 22nd September, two dead pigs were found lying out in the open near to an incinerator (photos here). One had been shot in the head and was lying next to the incinerator in a pool of blood. The other, an adult sow, was lying across the yard next to a building full of pigs. A covert camera was installed and recorded for 48 hours continuously. It was recovered on the night of Sunday 24th September. This recorded the dead pigs being put into the incinerator during the day on Saturday 23rd September, along with a series of dead piglets over the weekend. A worker was also filmed clearing the ash and bones from the incinerator and leaving them out in the open. Peter Kirkwood does appear to have the relevant license from the Environment Agency to incinerate fallen stock, however certain measures are still required. Such as: • dead animals “must be stored in leak-proof, covered, and labelled containers before incineration” • the incinerator has its own team of staff who do not share common areas or equipment with staff that work with livestock • animals must not have access to the raw ABPs that are awaiting incineration or to the ash after the incineration https://www.gov.uk/guidance/animal-by-products-how-to-burn-them-at-an-incinerator-site#storage-and-hygiene Regulation 11 (para 4) of the Animal By-Products Regulations 2005 states that carcases must be “held in such a way that animals and birds (including wild animals and birds) do not have access to it, and failure to do so is an offence”. This is an imprisonable offence due to the serious disease risk it poses. 2. Severely lame pig and many with injured ears Inside one of the large fattening sheds we filmed a severely lame pig who could not put weight on her front right leg. In the same pen, many pigs had open wounds on the tips of their ears where they had been chewed by other pigs. All of these pigs were heavily tail docked and confined on barren, slatted floors without suitable enrichment materials. Schedule 1, para 5 of the The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 states that any animals which appear to be ill or injured must be cared for appropriately and without delay. Leaving a vulnerable lame pig in a pen full of healthy pigs is not appropriate care. 3. Routine tail docking All of the pigs on this farm were tail docked. Routine tail docking of pigs is banned under the Mutilations (Permitted Procedures) (England) Regulations 2007 and the EU Pigs Directive. Under the Mutilations (Permitted Procedures) (England) Regulations 2007, tail docking should only be performed when all other measures to alleviate tail biting have been taken, primarily providing suitable enrichment and space. Neither of these measures had been taken on this farm, yet all sows were tail docked. 4. Lack of suitable enrichment materials Most pigs did not have manipulable enrichment materials provided, in violation of The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations and the EU Pigs Directive which requires all pigs to be provided with permanent access to manipulable enrichment materials in order to prevent aggression and fulfill their natural instinct to root. The fattening pens did have hanging chains as an attempt at enrichment, but both UK and EU law make it clear that this is not adequate long-term and must either be changed regularly (evidently not happening on this farm as the items were filthy) or supplemented with straw, hay or wood shavings. Of particular concern was the completely barren environment that the dry sows (non-lactating) were kept in. We filmed group housed sows on hard concrete floors without any bedding or sawdust and not even a chain or a ball as an attempt at enrichment. DEFRA’s Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock: Pigs states: “The provision of bedding in loose housing systems for sows and gilts is strongly recommended.” The fattening pigs did have hanging chains as an attempt at enrichment, but both UK and EU law make it clear that this is not adequate long-term and must either be changed regularly (evidently not happening on this farm as the items were filthy) or supplemented with straw, hay or wood shavings Regulations governing pig farming in the UK 1. Dead stock left in the open Animal By-Products Regulations 2005 Regulation 11, Access to catering waste and other animal by-products (4) Any person who is in possession of the carcase or part of a carcase of any livestock that has not been slaughtered for human consumption must, pending consignment or disposal in accordance with the Community Regulation and these Regulations, ensure that it is held in such a way that animals and birds (including wild animals and birds) do not have access to it, and failure to do so is an offence. The Red Tractor – Pig Standards, page 18, states that: Carcases of fallen and euthanased stock must be stored in a manner that protects them from vermin and other animals. How you will be measured: Carcases are stored in locked containers or within locked buildings dedicated to this purpose 2. Ill and Injured animals The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 Schedule 1, para 5: Inspection 5.  Any animals which appear to be ill or injured must be cared for appropriately and without delay; where they do not respond to such care, veterinary advice must be obtained as soon as possible. DEFRA’s Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock: Pigs (2003), paragraph 11 states: The health and welfare of animals depends on them being regularly inspected. 3. Tail docking The Mutilations (Permitted Procedures) (England) Regulations 2007 Schedule 3, paragraph 15: Tail docking The procedure may only be carried out where measures to improve environmental conditions or management systems have first been taken to prevent tail-biting, but there is still evidence to show that injury to pigs’ tails by biting has occurred. DEFRA’s Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock: Pigs (2003), paragraph 85 states: Routine tail docking is not permitted. Tail docking should only be used as a last resort, after improvements to the pigs’ environment and management have proved ineffectual. Where it is necessary to tail dock, it must be carried out in accordance with the law by a competent, trained operator before the seventh day of life, or by a veterinary surgeon. All equipment used must be cleaned and disinfected between pigs. The Red Tractor – Pig Standards, page 17, states that: Routine tail docking and teeth reduction is not allowed. These practices can only be carried out as a last resort where vet advice has been given and documented in the VHP. How you will be measured: Tail docking is only carried out where measures to improve environmental conditions or management systems have first been taken to prevent tail biting, but there is still evidence to show that injury to pigs’ tails by biting has occurred. 4. Provision of manipulable materials The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 Schedule 8, Part 2, Environmental Enrichment Paragraph 15. To enable proper investigation and manipulation activities, all pigs must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of material such as straw, hay, wood, sawdust, mushroom compost, peat or a mixture of such which does not adversely affect the health of the animals. DEFRA’s Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock: Pigs (2003), paragraph 80, states that: Environmental enrichment provides pigs with the opportunity to root, investigate, chew and play. Straw is an excellent material for environmental enrichment as it can satisfy many of the pigs’ behavioural and physical needs. It provides a fibrous material which the pig can eat; the pig is able to root in and play with long straw; and, when used as bedding, straw can provide the pig with physical and thermal comfort. Paragraph 81 clarifies: Objects such as footballs and chains can satisfy some of the pigs’ behavioural needs, but can quickly lose their novelty factor. The long-term use of such items is not, therefore, recommended unless they are used in conjunction with materials such as those listed above, or are changed on a weekly basis. The Red Tractor – Pig Standards, page 13, states that: Pigs must have permanent access to environmental enrichment in order to satisfy their investigation and manipulation behavioural requirements How you will be measured: • Examples of environmental enrichment include straw, hay, wood, sawdust, peat • Objects such as footballs and deformable-plastic pipe can satisfy some of the pigs’ behavioural needs, but will be regarded as satisfactory only when demonstrated to satisfy investigation and manipulation activities • Chains alone are not acceptable • Manipulable material containing wire (e.g. tyres) not used • Pigs’ ability to access environmental enrichment should not be compromised by the amount provided

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