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Investigator Twyla Francois exposes the practice of tooth breaking and boar bashing in Canada

by Anita Krajnc

See video

Investigator Twyla Francois speaks on the horrific practice of tooth cutting and boar bashing at the 'Thinking About Animals" conference at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, on March 31, 2011.

Based on her investigative studies, Twyla Francois reported on the common practice of tooth cutting and boar bashing at Canadian pig holding stations and auctions before boars are transported for slaughter.

These torturous practices take place as a way of saving money for the animal agriculture industry. Transport regulations require that all boars be segregated on transport so that they do not fight one another. Instead of putting up metal dividers to separate the boars, haulers save money by ensuring that boars loaded on together suffer such great pain that they will not fight one another even if packed in tightly together without dividers. Twyla says the boars she has seen on transport trucks "cower in pain."

Two things, says Twyla, are done to boars to cause them great pain: (1) tooth breaking and (2) boar bashing. After spending their lives in crates (just as sows do), boars used for semen have their teeth broken just before they are sent to slaughter. Bolt cutters are used to cut directly into the innervated tooth canal and shatter the tooth up to the gum line, causing extreme suffering.

Secondly, workers at holding stations and auctions break the boar's noses with a baseball bat or crow bar. Though this second practice is illegal, Twyla says every boar she has seen in transport since 2005 has been bashed. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has refused to enforce any of the cases of boar bashing she has brought before the government regulators.

In 2007, Francois published a report on these two practices entitled, "Investigation of Boar Bashing, Teeth Breaking and Snout Cutting at Ottawa Livestock Exchange (formerly Leo's Livestock Exchange Ltd.) and Investigation of Slaughterhouses that accept these boars: Hebert & Fils and Viandes Giroux." It is available on-line.

Francois is chief investigator for Canadians for the Ethical Treatment of Food Animals

She asks viewers to visit auctions and help in investigations. "Farm animals desperately need us to advocate for them wherever they are. Because of this, CETFA has created a volunteer inspector program. Volunteer inspectors can be anyone with an interest in helping farm animals -- at auctions, at collecting stations and during transport -- anywhere these animals are publicly accessible. Please see our website for the Volunteer Inspector's Checklist or contact us at"

For more coverage of pigs in factory farms, transport trucks and slaughterhouses, see, and

Video production by Anita Krajnc for rabbletv

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