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Pigs are being buried alive in China

We have received disturbing footage showing pigs being buried alive in China. Apparently, this is a response to a recent outbreak of African Swine Fever.

Please note that this is distressing footage:

The footage shows pigs being dropped from a lorry into a deep pit and then, while still alive, being covered by earth.

A matter of urgency

We have written to the Chinese Ambassador, urging the authorities in Beijing to halt this cruel killing method as a matter of urgency.

The burying alive of animals is clearly horrific. It is in breach of the international OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) standards on the Killing of Animals for Disease Control Purposes.

OIE standard

There is a long history in several countries of the use of inhumane methods to kill animals when authorities want to halt the spread of a disease. In 2013, tens of thousands of newly hatched poultry were killed by being immersed in boiling water, in China’s Guangdong province during the outbreak of bird flu. Also in 2013, footage showed pigs apparently being burned alive in Russia to control the spread of African Swine Fever.

When animals are to be killed to halt the spread of disease, it is vital that they are killed in accordance with the OIE standards. Nearly all the world’s countries are members of the OIE. We urge them to respect and comply with the OIE standards.

We stand ready to advise any country faced with needing to kill animals in the event of a disease outbreak as to the most humane methods available.