Shock footage shows alleged vile pig act

Image of the piggery taken by activists in 2022. Picture: farm Transparency Project
A man has been arrested after police allege a vile act was caught on camera at Midland Bacon in northern Victoria. Picture: Farm Transparency Project

A man has been charged with bestiality offences after he was allegedly caught on video by animal activists committing a vile sex act at a pig farm.

Activists from the Farm Transparency Project installed secret cameras at Midland Bacon in Victoria last month to capture what they described as “legal industry practices”.

Police will allege CCTV cameras captured a man performing a sexual act on a pig at the Stanhope farm on February 11.

Police arrested 30-year-old Carag Carag man Bradley O’Reilly shortly before midday on March 3 following a report of bestiality.

“Officers were told a man had performed a sexual act on an animal at a property on Robertson Road about 2.15am,” police said.

“The man has been charged with bestiality. He was bailed to appear at the Echuca Magistrates’ Court on June 11.”

Carag Carag man Bradley O'Reilly has been charged with bestiality after this incident at a Victorian pig farm. Picture: Supplied
Carag Carag man Bradley O'Reilly has been charged with bestiality after this incident at a Victorian pig farm. Picture: Supplied

News of the man’s arrest came hours before footage of the alleged incident was played before a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into pig welfare, in a move that outraged multiple MP’s to the point they left the room.

Police will allege the man’s actions were captured on video by an animal rights group, which was conducting surveillance at the property to find evidence of the general mistreatment of the pigs.

Farm Transparency Project strategy and campaigns director Harley McDonald-Eckersall confirmed the footage was handed over to police by the group.

Separate to the matter before the court, Ms McDonald-Eckersall said her group wanted to expose the general mistreatment of animals in the pork industry.

McDonald-Eckersall said there was an urgent need to address the culture of systemic violence and exploitation which was inherent to the Victorian pig meat industry.

“Many people have informed us that our footage of pigs dying in gas chambers has caused them to stop eating pig products entirely. The only way to fix this industry is to end it.”

In a statement to the ABC, a piggery spokesperson said they were “unable to comment on the police charge as this matter was now before the courts”.

“We are committed to humane processing practices, and our methods are in line with accepted industry standards,” they said.

A man slams a piglet into the floor at a Victorian pig farm. Picture: Supplied
A man slams a piglet into the floor at a Victorian pig farm. Picture: Supplied

“We are audited twice a year to ensure we meet our legal responsibilities for livestock animal welfare.”

Ms McDonald-Eckersall and the founder of the covert-footage-acquiring group, Chris Delforce, appeared before the parliamentary committee hearing into farm pig welfare on Tuesday.

Western Victoria Liberal MP Bev McArthur said playing of the covert footage was “outrageous” before leaving the hearing, followed by parliamentary colleagues Gaelle Broad and Renee Heath.

The illegally filmed footage showed piglets having teeth removed with pliers, a man slamming piglets against the concrete floor. No charges have been laid in relation to this aspect of the footage.

Mr Delforce told MPs the clip, and other footage from his group, was filmed illegally.

“We think the treatment of animals should be the bigger crime than jumping a fence,” he said.

Farm Transparency Project wanted the pork, lamb, chicken and beef industries phased out, replaced with plant and cell-based agriculture, but conceded the phase out would cost an expensive, as-yet-unknown amount of money.

Midland Bacon piggery in northern Victoria. Picture: farm Transparency Project
Midland Bacon piggery in northern Victoria. Picture: Supplied

Staff of Australian Alliance for Animals, which says it represents two million people under the umbrella of six different member organisations, also presented to the MPs on Tuesday.

Alliance co-founder Bidda Jones said a majority of the public believed farmed animals were sentient and could “experience pain and pleasure”.

Alliance co-founder Jed Goodfellow said if Australia wanted 21st century animal welfare, reform was needed.

The alliance was calling for mandatory CCTV at all abattoirs, in line with European nations and Queensland.

“There’s limited – to no – oversight,” Dr Goodfellow said.

The group also wants carbon dioxide stunning of pigs replaced with an electric alternative.

Bludgeoning piglets on concrete floors and docking tails without pain relief was not punishable under the regulations, Dr Goodfellow said.

Ms McArthur questioned the alliance’s stance on illegally obtained footage: The doctors said it was unfortunate that activists “need” to act covertly, but that footage was often the driver of reform in the sector.