Damning video on pig conditions released

An undercover investigation by Compassion in World Farming (CiWF) suggests that the vast majority of the 250m pigs reared each year in the EU are being farmed in illegal conditions.

The findings of a joint investigation, alongside the European Coalition for Farm Animals (ECFA), into whether European pig farms are complying with 2003 EU pig welfare legislation, has revealed that the new laws are being flouted in the vast majority of the farms visited, according to CiWF.

CiWF and ECFA visited 74 pig farms in six Member States of Denmark, Hungary, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK and have now launched a video of their findings.

CiWF chief policy advisor Peter Stevenson said: “It’s a scandal that, seven years after the new laws came into force, they are still being ignored by most of Europe’s pig farmers. Pigs are inquisitive intelligent animals, with a real zest for life – it is both illegal and inhumane to keep them in barren factory farms, where there is simply nothing for them to do. We call on Member States to enforce the law that requires pigs to be given enrichment materials, such as straw, and that bans routine tail-docking.”

Based on the investigation and a 2007 European Food Safety Authority report, showing that over 90% of EU pigs were still being tail-docked, CiWF and ECFA have made formal complaints for failure to enforce EU law to the European Commission against Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Hungary and Denmark.

Stevenson added: “Consumers can help by only buying pork, bacon and ham that is free-range, organic or reared under a high welfare scheme, such as Thierry Schweitzer in France, Neuland in Germany or Freedom Food in the UK.”

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