The Irish government has launched an investigation after Compassion in World Farming raised concerns of neglect and animal cruelty taking place on Irish pig farms.

CIWF recently uncovered what it alleged were “multiple levels of cruelty, neglect and systematic non-compliance” during an investigation into five pig farms in Ireland and wrote to minister for agriculture, food and the marine, Simon Coveney TD, urging the Irish authorities to take action.

The Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said it treated allegations of animal cruelty with the utmost seriousness and has been in touch with CIWF this week.

“All reports of potential animal cruelty are taken seriously by this department and are investigated in full. The allegations made are currently being investigated in accordance with this policy,” said a spokesman for Coveney.

As a result of its investigation, CIWF is urging UK shoppers not to buy Irish pig meat unless they are certain it is from a higher welfare production system.

“The levels of neglect on all of the farms points to a systemic failure and the barbarity of this situation points to two options: either the government doesn’t care or they are incompetent. Either of these is inexcusable,” said CIWF director of campaigns Dil Peeling.

CIWF has also written to the European Commission about what it found.