By Rita Jane Gabbett
An independent panel of animal well-being
experts concluded most of the actions depicted in
released yesterday by the group Mercy For Animals (which promotes a
vegetarian diet) were mischaracterized and often were actually acceptable
The Animal Care Review Panel was created
specifically to analyze undercover video investigations at livestock farms.
The panel does not submit its reports to the pork industry for review or
Panel members included: Laurie Connor, University of
Manitoba head of the Department of Animal Science; Bob Friendship, professor
at Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph; and Jennifer
Brown, a research scientist in ethnology at the Prairie Swine Centre.
In a detailed report, the panelists took the video segment by segment
and explained why certain animal behaviors that Mercy for Animals depicted
as abusive — such as sows biting at their bars of their stalls at feeding
time, piglets being euthanized with blunt force trauma and piglet castration
— were all acceptable and humane animal husbandry practices.
panel also pointed out some practices depicted in the video that were not
acceptable, such as employees kicking and slapping and pulling animals’