Animal rights organisation the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has set its sights on conditions in a Phnom Penh slaughterhouse, releasing a video of apparent animal cruelty and calling for government intervention.
The footage, taken in December and released on Thursday, shows shirtless men viciously beating pigs over the head with metal pipes before cutting their throats. At one point, one of the pigs is dragged across the floor while alive with a metal hook.
“Workers slaughtered pigs in full view of one another – some animals were forced to watch the violence over and over again for more than six hours before they were also cruelly killed,” the press release states, before encouraging veganism.
According to the statement, PETA has written to the Ministry of Agriculture appealing to the Cambodian government to take action to end the “horrific treatment of pigs in slaughterhouses” and to implement national animal welfare laws.
While ministry official Sen Sovann confirmed that the behaviour depicted in the video violated ministry policy, he did not elaborate on exactly which aspects did so. The government signed a law regulating the industry in February 2016, with a focus on hygiene and safety. Sovann declined on Sunday to give details of how the law would address the techniques shown in the video.
“We are pushing everyday to have legal slaughterhouses . . . If any slaughterhouse does like that, we could just go and close them down immediately,” he said. “I don’t reject the video, but I would like to ask for their clarification on where exactly [it was taken]. I will take action.”
PETA, however, has declined to provide more details as to the slaughterhouse’s location, saying they must protect the “activist” that filmed the scene.
“For the safety of the eyewitness we cannot give out the exact location, but it was in Phnom Penh and we have written the government about the facility,” said PETA Vice President Jason Baker.
A 2013 investigation by The Post found similar conditions at a pig slaughterhouse in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district, where workers killed animals by hand in the same enclosure as living pigs, using bars and sticks to stun them before using a knife.