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Pork meat sold by large supermarket chains appears contaminated with "superbugs"

Pork meat sold by large supermarket chains appears contaminated with

An investigation carried out by the NGO World Animal Protection, detected the presence of bacteria that threaten health in pork from large supermarket chains

Recently, "superbugs" (resistant to antibiotics) were found in pork sold in supermarkets in Spain, Thailand and BrazilThis is due to the excessive and routine use of antibiotics in the pig industry, a fact that reflects the low animal welfare conditions in which it is being produced.

The NGO World AnimalProtectión carried out the research that was commissioned to carry out the analysis of pork that is sold in large supermarkets in Australia, Spain, Thailand and Brazil. In these last three, the presence of "superbugs" was found, including samples obtained from Carrefour in Spain and Walmart in Brazil.

Quick "solutions" with serious consequences on our health

Pigs they are curious animals For nature. They have different personalities, they are very intelligent and social, capable of showing empathy with each other. Also, they like to explore: straw, a rope hanging from the ceiling, or even a ball, is enough to distract them.

The lack of what to do, added to the overcrowding of the environment, causes frustration for the species. In non-enrichment houses, piglets are bored and hurt each other. High density is also a cause for fights and facilitates the transmission of various diseases that affect animals and sometimes humans, such as salmonella.

Therefore, producers found that by using antibiotics, they can prevent animals from getting sick.

However, this supposed "solution" is the other side of the same coin, because in truth, it is contributing to increase the current crisis of "superbugs", as pointed out the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN).

The presence of "superbugs" in food production can cause food poisoning, septicemia, urinary tract infections and in some cases, including death.

Three-quarters of the antibiotics produced annually in the world are used for animal production, especially in the swine industry that is characterized by low animal welfare.

Cruel practices with low standards of animal welfare

Animals in industrial farms have a terrible quality of life, since from the day they are born, they are separated from their family, exposed to painful practices, antibiotics and restricted from the possibility of expressing their natural behaviors.


  • Piglets are separated from their mother at a very young age, and mother sows are used as breeding machines without rest. They spend their lives locked in a steel cage the size of a refrigerator, where they cannot even turn over, subjected to unnecessary stress.

In Chile alone, every year about 170 thousand sows give birth on average to 3 million piglets.

  • Pigs are confined in houses that offer little or no motivation. They live in crowded conditions, a fact that exposes them to the possibility of contracting multiple infections. Hence, the excessive and routine administration of antibiotics.

Ricardo Mora, Director of Farm Animal Programs at World Animal Protection, Maintains that “We analyzed the pork samples, firstly to see for ourselves how the pig industry is contributing to the creation of 'superbugs', and secondly, to have the necessary evidence to ask supermarkets to assume their share of responsibility and help the correct raising of the pigs ”.

“The conditions of the pigs in the industrial production farms, cause the pigs to a life of suffering and stress, which means a constant use of antibiotics. But there is another way of doing things. Supermarkets should ask suppliers to improve pig welfare. Animal production systems with higher welfare allow the responsible use of antibiotics, as has been demonstrated in Sweden ”.

Animal welfare improves our health and the planet

From World Animal Protection, We work together with governments and communities so that there are more and more farms with high levels of welfare where pigs are free, they can share in community and raise their piglets without being separated from them in an abrupt way.

These farms apply what is known as collective and free gestation systemscages, which allows sows to rotate freely and move in groups, instead of having to spend their entire pregnancy locked in containers where they cannot even move. Keeping sows during pregnancy in stables so tight that they are unable to turn around was banned by the European Union in 2013.

These welfare systems result in animals more healthy, less stressed and with the possibility of expressing natural behaviorssuch as nesting, raising their cubs, playing with their community, and instinctive foraging for food.

In addition to the welfare this means for the animals, human beings also benefit, because we are less exposed to contracting diseases.

Added to all this, often greenhouse gas emissions are reduced when animals are healthy and well-being, allowing us to live on a healthier planet.

The change is now

World Animal Protection calls on all supermarkets in the world to contribute to improving the lives of pigs, at the same time that they have sourcing policies, only from suppliers that have better animal welfare practices.

The NGO is working with producers to develop high welfare production systems where pigs are out of cages, live in groups, and have the appropriate material to allow the expression of their natural behavior.

Join World Animal Protection and require your supermarket to commit to only selling pork from animals that have been raised properly.

For more information, visit the site: https://www.worldanimalprotection.cr/superbacterias

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