Pig Pledge launched by welfare groups

Animal welfare campaigners have launched ‘The Pig Pledge’ campaign to encourage consumers to change their shopping habits and only buy high-welfare pork.

Compassion in World Farming and the Soil Association are both involved in the Farms Not Factories (FNF) project. FNF said the campaign aimed to help “free pigs from being reared in cruelly confined conditions that results in a myriad of human environmental health problems”. It added that the campaign also seeks to clarify confusion over the pricing and labelling of pork products.

The Pig Pledge website contains information to try and help shoppers make informed choices. These include a star rating system, designed to help shoppers find the high welfare labels and buy the most ethical pork they can afford; and a high-welfare online directory to help shoppers find farms and butchers nearest to them that give a high animal welfare option.

Organisers have urged to consumers to sign the pledge, and stop buying meat from what it calls "animal factories".

FNF director Tracy Worcester said: “Governments are not currently helping to improve pig welfare or restrict the routine overuse of antibiotics in animal factories, so it is up to us as consumers to bring about change. We are growing our diverse supporter base behind a single, clear message of solidarity: ‘When it comes to pork, please change your shopping habits to support a better future for pigs, farmers and the planet by buying meat from real farms not animal factories. To highlight your commitment, please sign the Pig Pledge'.”

The campaign has been launched with a three-minute film about Worcester’s 10-year worldwide battle against animal factories. The organisation also said that each day this week, building up to World Food Day on Thursday 16 October, FNF will focus on a different negative impact of factory farming, for example, on human health, animal welfare, pollution, and rural communities.

Philip Lymbery, author and chief executive of Compassion in World Farming, said: “Life for pigs in factory farms is bleak; these highly intelligent animals have limited opportunities to express their natural behaviours. There are hundreds of millions of pigs around the world kept in factory farms. These often cause mass pollution, which is damaging for the environment and to local communities.

“Let’s move away from the dark age of pig production, in which pigs throughout the world are increasingly kept confined. I urge you all to stand up against factory farming, for the good of our own health and the environment as well as for the welfare of these pigs.”

Information on the pledge can be found at http://pigpledge.org/

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