CWIF tells pig farmers to embrace free-range

Pig farmers should see free-range and higher welfare as the way to save their bacon, says Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).

CWIF representatives joined farmers in London on Tuesday (4 March) to campaign for fairer pig prices from supermarkets. The charity urged British farmers to embrace further improvements of welfare standards as a way to differentiate British pork.

"Let's pay a fair price for a fair product and make sure that our pig industry is one we can be proud of, with better welfare systems and a fair deal for farmers," said Phil Brooke, welfare development manager for CIWF.

British pigs are already experiencing better welfare than many imported products, thanks to the UK ban on sow stalls, but CIWF says there is still room for improvement, in particular with regards to the provision of straw, a reduction in tail-docking and stopping the use of farrowing crates.

"Free-range and higher welfare indoor pig production has much higher potential, both for good welfare and for good business. British standards for pig welfare are higher and British farmers need the help of consumers and retailers, so they can move further towards truly high standards," said Brooke.

There has been a big consumer move away from standard factory farmed produce in the wake of national media coverage of farm animal welfare. Recent YouGov research showed that 78% of the public would pay more for their pork if it helped farmers.

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