Animal activists target Swickers pig abattoir in Kingaroy, Dec 15, 2020. The group, which includes some locals, is part of Brisbane Animal Save and have protested at the site in previous years.
Animal activists target Swickers pig abattoir in Kingaroy, Dec 15, 2020. The group, which includes some locals, is part of Brisbane Animal Save and have protested at the site in previous years.

Animal rights activists protest outside Kingaroy abattoir

MORE THAN 20 rights activists are protesting outside the Swickers abattoir in Kingaroy, claiming to be there to “bear witness” as pigs enter the slaughterhouse.

The group, part of the Brisbane Animal Save movement, has been at the site since mid-morning.

Group leader Amie Joseph-Hall said the group protested at the site “at least once a year”, particularly in the lead up to Christmas.

“ (Swickers) being the largest pig slaughterhouse in the southern hemisphere, they do see quite a lot of pigs going through the doors and Christmas is usually the time when people are picking up the legs of the pigs,” Ms Joseph-Hall said.

“So we’re here to get footage of them in the trucks going inside, the conditions that they’re in. And just to show people that they are living breathing, feeling animals as well.”

Animal activists target Swickers pig abattoir in Kingaroy, Dec 15, 2020. The group, which includes some locals, is part of Brisbane Animal Save and have protested at the site in previous years.
Animal activists target Swickers pig abattoir in Kingaroy, Dec 15, 2020. The group, which includes some locals, is part of Brisbane Animal Save and have protested at the site in previous years.

The group, numbering about 20, is mostly made up of protesters from Brisbane.

We are in Kingaroy, bearing witness to the thousands of young pigs who are slaughtered every day at 'Swickers Bacon...

Posted by Brisbane Animal Save on Monday, December 14, 2020

Ms Joseph-Hall said the reaction from the community was usually hostile, although another protester, Lisa, said the reaction could be mixed with some locals giving the group support.

“We have some support but obviously given us because it‘d be the main employer there’s obviously some pushback,” Ms Joseph-Hall said.

“And we’re not here to fight the workers or anything, we’re here simply to bear witness the animals going in and to tell their stories.

“As you can hear they’re screaming right now as they’re being lowered into CO2 gas.”

Animal activists target Swickers pig abattoir in Kingaroy, Dec 15, 2020. The group, which includes some locals, is part of Brisbane Animal Save and have protested at the site in previous years.
Animal activists target Swickers pig abattoir in Kingaroy, Dec 15, 2020. The group, which includes some locals, is part of Brisbane Animal Save and have protested at the site in previous years.

Protester Lisa said the group aimed to encourage locals to think about the food on their plate this festive season.

“We just want to encourage people to make kinder choices – it’s Christmas. It’s a time of giving and celebrating with family and we just want people to … think about the poor sentient being that has died for their dinner.”

Among the protesters were also several locals.

One protester from Nanango, who asked not to be named, said this was her first protest in the local area, despite having given up meat 28 years ago.

“I feel really passionate about it as I know how healthy and well I am and that there’s no need for this kind of suffering,” she said.

“Pigs are as intelligent and as sensitive as dogs, and you can imagine all hell would break loose if this was happening to dogs.”

The group said it was also gathering footage of the conditions of the pigs in the trucks and planned to stay for several hours.

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