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Der Spiegel magazine recently met a group of activists secretly breaking into Germany's pig farms in the dead of night to document wide-spread flouting of laws designed to improve conditions for pigs kept in large-scale livestock compounds.
The magazine uncovered shocking scenes, including a dead piglet left lying on a walkway and a sow covered in wounds from the bars of a narrow cage in which she could not lie down.
New European Union rules, which have been in the pipeline for eleven years, finally came into force on January 1st this year after a six year grace period.
Among other things, the rules stipulate that pregnant sows can no longer be kept in a narrow barred cage for the entire three month duration of their pregnancy, but must be transferred to a larger group pen after five weeks, before returning to an individual cage to give birth.
Pig farmers ignore EU animal protection laws - The Local
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