Animal rights protesters have warned of plans to stage further demonstrations outside a Spalding abattoir after a lorry carrying livestock crashed on the A16.
At least a dozen supporters of Spalding Animal Save, part of The Save Movement which campaigns against the slaughter of livestock, staged a protest outside Dalehead Foods last Wednesday.
The protest is in relation to a crash near Cowbit three weeks ago when 23 pigs died, according to Tulip Foods, parent company of Dalehead Foods.
David Brown, of Spalding Animal Save, said: “Wednesday was a protest and vigil against the lack of mercy shown to the survivors of the A16 crash, the pigs that are taken to slaughter and their plight.
“We contacted everyone in charge on the day of the crash and made them aware that we had sanctuaries and licensed transportation on standby, willing to take any pigs with minor injuries.
“We know that it costs the abattoir money to dispose of the animals so it would have worked out very well for all parties involved had they simply given over some of the animals to be rehomed and healed.
This wasn’t about causing trouble for the slaughterhouse but rather, in particular, this was an attempt at raising awarenessDavid Brown, of Spalding Animal Save
“The pigs had been through a lot that day, as it was, and we’re so often saddened by the way these animals are overlooked as individuals, treated instead simply as commodities.
“This wasn’t about causing trouble for the slaughterhouse but rather, in particular, this was an attempt at raising awareness.”
Mr Brown claimed that a total of 14 protesters showed in Spalding, including some from Essex and Kent.
“We’re a love-based, peaceful group, not there to cause any trouble or to even raise our voices,” Mr Brown said.
“We demonstrated by the busy main road, said farewell to the pigs going to slaughter and held a three-minute silence outside Dalehead Foods.
“The police came along and were generally very helpful and polite, so we’re very appreciative of their presence and tolerance.
“It was great that we managed to get off on the right footing with the authorities and we will be back to Dalehead Foods in the near future.
A Tulip Foods spokesman said: “We did experience some minor incidents on Wednesday when a number of activists placed themselves, and others, at risk by positioning themselves in front of moving vehicles transporting animals.
“There were also attempts to engage with site security personnel and we would like to thank Lincolnshire Police in Spalding for overseeing the activity and working with us to ensure any risk to the safety of all parties was suitably addressed.
“Whilst we respect the legal right of individuals and groups to conduct peaceful protests, we also have a responsibility to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, contractors, suppliers, members of the public and the animals in our care. animals and there were also attempts to engage with site security personnel.
“We can confirm that none of the animals who survived the road accident on January 11 were destroyed for disposal, as has been claimed.
“Of the 180 pigs being transported for slaughter at the time of the accident, 23 were either killed in the incident itself or put down at the scene due to the nature of injuries sustained.
“Also contrary to what has been reported previously as fact by local media and animal activists, all remaining animals were extensively examined by both in-house and independent vets, then passed fit and well to remain within the supply chain.”
A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “This was a peaceful protest which had a low-level police response to ensure the safety of all involved.
“The protesters had left the area by midday and there were no issues or arrests.”