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Hog farmers upset with activistís secret night-time visits

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

BEERTA - An unannounced night-time visit to her hogís barn by an animal rights group has farmer Annechien ten Have-Mellema all up in arms. She has laid a complaint against Ongehoord, which illegally invaded the privacy of her operation with film cameras to use the film footage in a media campaign against her hog operation and that of 25 others throughout the country. The Beerta farmer says that the clips Ongehoord put on the Internet fail to show any abuses of her pigs that the group claims regularly occur in the large barns, an arrangement that many Dutch people call factory farming. Another hog farmer agrees with Ten Have and says he felt violated when he saw footage taken on his farm posted on the Internet. They say it is no different from having a burglar going through your house. While claiming to speak up for animals the activists actually disregarded strict disease control protocol, the farmers say, by going from farm to farm for these nightly visits and possibly spreading bacteria and viruses. The film footage supposedly shows farmers failing to care properly for their animals.