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Australian slaughterhouses exposed for cruelty (14 so far)

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Big River Pork Abattoir

Big River Pork Abattoir

Location: Flagstaff Road, Brinkley SA
Owned by: Big River Pork Pty Ltd
Status: Open and operating
Phone: (08) 8539 3333
Email: tleahy@bigriverpork.com.au

In May 2014, hidden cameras were placed inside the Big River Pork pig slaughterhouse near Murray Bridge, South Australia. The resulting day of footage, sent anonymously to Aussie Farms, depicts workers using electric cattle prods excessively to force pigs into the carbon dioxide (CO2) gas chamber, where they then scream and trash as they suffocate and full unconscious.

The footage comes after similar reactions to the gas were filmed at Rivalea's Corowa slaughterhouse in NSW - something the world had never before seen. While the camera angle at Corowa only caught the reaction at the bottom edge of the screen, the camera at Big River Pork was placed inside the gas chamber, looking straight down at the pigs as the gas first hits them. Almost every single pig is shown to have a horrific, violent reaction to the gas, as they try to escape the cage ('gondola').

Unlike the Corowa footage, where only 5-6 month old pigs were killed, the Big River Pork footage depicts sows being forced into the gas too. These sows have had unbearable lives consisting of a constant cycle of forced impregnation, confinement to sow stalls (or group housing, where they also faced aggression from other pigs in the cramped conditions) and farrowing crates, and watching their piglets dying or being taken away from them; over and over for 2-3 years.

Some sows are seen with "CULL" or "NIP" spray-painted on their backs. NIP refers to the "not in pig" condition, where sows are thought to be pregnant but never actually give birth to piglets, and are therefore seen as a waste of the farmers' time and resources and sent to slaughter.

Many of the sows are seen still moving as they come up the other side of the gas chamber; an electric stunner awaits any who have not been successfully rendered unconscious by the gas.

It is a truly sad end to a life of misery and exploitation.

The electric cattle prod is used on almost every pig between 2 and 10 times, despite the company policy on the wall clearly stating that the prodder should not be used on any more than 1 in 4 pigs. The prodder is sometimes used on the pigs' faces and appears to be held on the anus of one sow for 2-3 seconds. Despite the race (walkway for the animals between the holding pens and gas chamber) being covered by metal bars, pigs still try to climb out rather than go into the chamber. Some manage to turn around, in which instance the worker lifts up the side of the caged passage to let them out, where they are then put back in at the start.

Big River Pork is a consortium of 4 major Australian pork industry players (Auspork, B.E. Campbell, George Weston Foods, and Hurstbridge Abattoirs), with apparently state-of-the-art export pork "processing" facilities. It is the largest pig slaughterhouse in the state of South Australia, killing an average of 13000 pigs per week (676000 per year) as of May 2007. The second largest is the Primo abattoir at Port Wakefield, killing roughly 10000 pigs per week.

Business Details

  • Big River Pork Pty Ltd
  • ACN: 092 615 373
  • ABN: 45 092 615 373
  • Phone: (08) 8539 3333
  • Registered in: South Australia
  • Registration Date: 5/06/2000
  • Organisation is currently registered, limited by shares and a proprietary company
  • Principal Place of Business: Lot 12 Flagstaff Road, Murray Bridge SA 5253

Directors:

  • Edward Glasford Campbell
    • Lives in Epping NSW
    • Born in Sydney NSW, 30/3/1955
    • Appointed 06/11/2000
  • Rodney Keith Hamann
    • Lives in Aldgate SA
    • Born in Adelaide SA, 12/06/1959
    • Appointed 29/01/2005
  • Alan Bittisnich
    • Lives in Laverton North VIC
    • Born in Melbourne VIC, 10/05/1956
    • Appointed 21/09/2009
  • Paul Wayne Mealor
    • Lives in Brighton East VIC
    • Born in Melbourne VIC, 29/06/1961
    • Appointed 21/04/2011
  • Ian George Winter Parish
    • Lives in Kensington Park SA
    • Born in Mt Gambier SA, 18/04/1949
    • Appointed 10/06/2014
  • Ross Ingram
    • Lives in Pine Mountain QLD
    • Born in Griffith NSW, 20/01/1949
    • Appointed 13/06/2014

Alternate directors:

  • Colin Campbell
    • Lives in Eastwood NSW
    • Born in Sydney NSW, 30/05/1957
    • Appointed 4/04/2005
  • Dario Nordio
    • Lives in Warranwood VIC
    • Born in Pola, Italy, 25/09/1943
    • Appointed 21/09/2009
  • Nicholas Geoffrey Lienert
    • Lives in Tanunda SA
    • Born in Gawler SA, 8/11/1966
    • Appointed 29/01/2005
  • Stuart Warren Grainger
    • Lives in Gisborne South VIC
    • Born in Evesham, UK, 7/06/1969
    • Appointed 21/04/2011
  • Peter Richard Hardy
    • Lives in Essendon VIC
    • Born in Essendon VIC, 27/11/1957
    • Appointed 27/07/2012

Secretary

  • Mark Andrew Horsnell
    • Lives in Magill SA
    • Born in Adelaide SA, 11/02/1961
    • Appointed 10/06/2014

Ultimate Holding Company

  • Murray Bridge Bacon Pty Ltd
    • ABN 078 020 694
    • ACN 23078020694

Share Structure

  • Number of shares: 2
  • Shareholders:
    • Murray Bridge Bacon Pty Ltd (PO Box 2026, Murray Bridge SA)
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