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News 659 views last update:Jun 19, 2008

Welfare concerns within British Pig industry

Government vets have launched an investigation into Britain's pig farming industry after disturbing images showing dead and diseased animals were passed to British newspaper, The Independent.

Pork farmers have been conducting a high-profile advertising campaign to encourage consumers to buy more expensive British produce, claiming that standards are higher than they are on the Continent. But the images, taken at farms linked to leaders of the industry, raise serious concerns about the welfare of the majority of the country's 8 million pigs.

Advertising campaign
This development follows an advertising campaign run by BPEX and the National Pig Association last year, "Pigs Are Worth It", which showed pictures of clean pigs standing outside on straw and boasted shoppers were getting "a top quality product from a well cared for animal".

Animal welfare campaigners are now asking for the adverts to be banned, saying they mislead the public about the conditions experienced by the two thirds of the UK's pigs that are reared indoors.

Footage
Animal Aid claimed its investigation showed that farmers were "falling considerably short" of the images it portrayed in its campaigning. The footage shows pigs with sores where they have rubbed against metal bars; farrowing crates that prevent sows from moving; pigs with bite marks; collapsed and convulsing animals; pigs covered in excrement; dirty pens; and routine tail-docking.

BPEX have vowed to investigate the allegations.

Related Website
• The Independent
• BPEX
• Animal Aid

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