Animal activists protest at Swickers
ANIMAL rights activists from Brisbane descended on Swickers on Wednesday afternoon to protest against the treatment of pigs.
Organiser Amanda Chiobaun from Brisbane Animal Save, which is affiliated with Animal Liberation Queensland, said the protest was to "bear witness" to what happens at the abattoir.
Ms Chiobaun claimed methods used at pig abattoirs were "cruel".
"We're not here to attack anyone, we're not here to threaten anyone's livelihood. I just don't see the suffering of animals that have the exact same capacity to feel pain, fear, and sadness as I do as something that is worth making money off," Ms Chiobaun said.
Kingaroy Police were on the scene to make sure the peaceful protest remained just that.
Sunpork CEO Dr Robert van Barneveld said the protesters were entitled to express their opinion, providing they did not interfere with operations.
"They have their view on the world and they will use any measures to promote that view whether it is true or otherwise," Dr van Barneveld said.
"They are a small vocal minority that have firm views on the parts animals play in food production."
Dr van Barneveld said Swickers was one of the largest employers in the South Burnett.
"It's a critical part of the Kingaroy community and we think Swickers and all of the livestock industry in the South Burnett make a valuable contribution to the food chain and the community in general."
Ms Chiobaun said she hoped people would think about the ethics of people eating meat.
"Just because it's an animal that we see as okay to eat, does it matter any less that it suffers immensely," she said.
"I don't see it being good for people, for animals and for the environment and the planet itself. We don't need to eat meat to survive, we don't need to eat meat to sustain a living."
Swickers is the largest pork processing facility in the southern hemisphere, and processes about 18,000 pigs every week.