An investigation into the conditions at some of the world’s largest factory farms has revealed shocking pictures of animals being crammed into tiny spaces.
The images, taken from the inside of a small factory farm in Japan, show a cow and pigs being crammed together on a concrete floor, and in a tiny space a pig and donkey are also crammed together in a single cage.
“It is disgusting,” said Kato, a farmer in rural Shiga Prefecture who has a group of farm animals on his property.
He said the images were sent to him by the farmers association, but the association said it had no comment on the images.
The images were released by Greenpeace, the environmental group founded by British activist and former Greenpeace campaigner Ken Loach.
An investigation by the group has been launched into factory farms in Japan and has found the images, which were taken by workers inside a small farm, were shocking.
The group says the images show the use of small spaces as a means of confinement for animals, which could be an attempt to reduce the stress that many animals face when living in such cramped conditions.
It says the practice of using small spaces for animal production is not only cruel, but also a source of suffering.
The factory farm where the images have been found is located in Shiga, one of Japan’s most densely populated regions.
In the images seen by Greenpeace in Shima, there is no cage and the animals are crammed into small spaces on a bare concrete floor.
They are not allowed to sleep or feed, and the walls of the tiny cages are covered with mats and straw.
There are no lights, no running water and no food, and they are given just a small amount of water to drink.
When workers go outside they are required to wear masks, and some workers are wearing face coverings to avoid being seen.
At one farm, workers were photographed putting a small box filled with a plastic bag over a chicken, which they were supposed to kill, and it was then placed in a cage and killed in the same manner.
On another farm workers are seen putting a chicken in a small cage on a plastic sheet.
The chickens were to be sold for meat.
Another factory farm, which Greenpeace has also investigated, is in Kagoshima Prefecture.
Animal welfare groups have previously criticised factory farms for using conditions that have caused unnecessary suffering.
Earlier this year, the group found conditions at a factory farm near Kyoto were not as humane as factory farms should be.
In the investigation, the farm where these images were taken was in the middle of the industrialised zone, which has been designated as a hazardous zone by Greenpeace.
This zone covers more than 2,000 square kilometres (1,200 square miles) in Shizuoka Prefecture, including the region’s largest industrial town of Shizuwa, which is home to over 300,000 people.
There are also industrial zones in nearby Kagoshawa, which are known for producing large amounts of pork, and Kumamoto Prefecture in the north-east of the country.
As well as the factory farms, the study found conditions on some farmlands and farms were not up to the high standards Greenpeace has called for.
In Shizuoshima, for example, a pig farm had to be closed for the second time this year due to severe winter weather, the animal welfare group said.
A large number of pigs were kept in small cages and on concrete floors in the small industrial zone.
According to the animal protection group, the conditions were similar to those found in factory farm areas in the UK, China and Vietnam.
Many farm animals suffer from extreme stress and illness, with severe malnutrition, poor diets and poor water, and many die from diseases such as leukaemia, a disease that causes blood clots.