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Belgian supermarkets pull ham following photos of animal abuse

15:22 13/02/2018

Both Delhaize and Colruyt supermarket chains have put a temporary stop on deliveries from the Spanish pork giant El Pozo after shocking photos of animal abuse emerged this week. The photos were taken in a slaughterhouse that supplies meat to El Pozo.

The Dutch-Belgian organisation Animal Rights asked the supermarkets to scrap the products after the images came to light. Both chains obliged, just as they did last year when pork slaughterhouses in Belgium were guilty of similarly abusive behaviour.

The images from Spain show pigs with extremely large and clearly infected abscesses and wounds, as well as massive tumours. They are clearly suffering but are being kept with other pigs, according to Animal Equality, the Spanish organisation that obtained the images in co-operation with a local TV channel.

“It is easy to see that these animal are never going to heal,” said Nadine Lucas of Animal Rights. Both organisations said that the pigs should either have been cared for or put out of their misery long ago.

Colruyt and Delhaize released a joint statement saying they would engage in dialogue with El Pozo. “Animal wellness is a top priority for Delhaize,” said the supermarket in a statement. “We will investigate the situation further and then come to a conclusion.”

Colruyt sells just one El Pozo product, while Delhaize has seven, including chorizo and Iberian ham.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw