Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thriller documentary SWINE exposes the rise of antibiotic resistance in factory farms


SWINE stars two-time World Freerunning Champion Tim Shieff as Jack Tomlins, an undercover journalist.


A new short film has employed some clever storytelling to uncover a very real problem within animal agribusiness.

SWINE combines a dramatised piece with a narrated documentary in order to highlight the cruelty of pig farming and the medical implications of mankind’s insatiable demand for meat.

The short film exposes the impending crisis of antibiotic resistance developing in UK factory farms, and reveals the more broad failings of the industrialised meat industry.

Released at on July 8, the 16-minute film comprises a short fictional dramatisation directed by Remy Archer, and a longer documentary segment directed by Lewis Noll.

SWINE’s fictional component stars two-time World Freerunning Champion Tim Shieff as Jack Tomlins, a journalist who goes undercover in a UK factory farm to investigate rumours of a MRSA superbug outbreak in the pig population.

Filming behind the scenes with Tim Shieff, titled 'Swine' for VIVA. Photos by Jasper Wilkins, 26th April 2016

Behind the scenes: Tim Shieff filming SWINE for Viva! 26th April 2016. Photo: Jasper Wilkins.

“It was great to work on this film,” said Shieff on his involvement with SWINE.

“Viva! Are an organisation I support and the issue of antibiotic resistance is a very real threat developing right now in factory farms everywhere.”

Written and produced by film-makers and campaigners Robbie Lockie and Damien Clarkson, SWINE is the pair’s first collaboration under the name The Growing Box Co and was made in partnership with La Verita Studios.

Commissioned by the charity Viva! for their Face Off campaign, SWINE is narrated by Gregg Lowe (X-Men: Days of Future Past).

Behind the scenes: Tim Shieff filming SWINE for Viva! with writer and producer Damien Clarkson and crew, 26th April 2016. Photo: Jasper Wilkins.

Highlighting the wider implications of an inherently cruel industry, SWINE reveals how half of all antibiotics sold in the UK are used on farmed animals, with 60 per cent of these being used on pigs.

This excessive use of antibiotics in animals poses real risks for humans and non-human animals alike.

Antibiotic resistant MRSA bacteria has been found in pig meat products sold in the UK.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is a bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics and can cause a variety of potentially deadly problems ranging from skin infections to pneumonia to bloodstream infections.

On top of this, a new antibiotic resistant gene, MCR-1, has developed in the worldwide pig population.

The MCR-1 gene exists on a plasmid, a small piece of DNA that is capable of moving from one bacterium to another. This enables antibiotic resistance to spread among bacterial species.

Most worryingly of all, just this year MCR-1 was found to be resistant to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic drug for treating resistant infections.

MCR-1 has been found in pigs in China, the USA and across Europe, including the UK.

Though public awareness of the issue is relatively new, antibiotic resistance developing in the pig population was discussed in the UK parliament as far back as 1953.


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Photos: Supplied. Copyright Jasper Wilkins / SWINE.


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