Award winning Dutch pig castration campaign

25-06-2008 | |

Dutch organisation, Wakker Dier has been granted an Effie Award, the most prestigious Dutch prize in the world of advertising, for their successful campaign against the castration of piglets without anesthesia.

It is the first time in Holland that an action-organisation wins an Effie. And the first time that an organization wins without the help of an advertising agency. Six million boars are now spared the painful procedure, due to the campaign.

However, the four million male piglets that are exported alive, mostly to Germany, are still castrated without anesthetics. In cooperation with the German organization PROVIEH, the awarded campaign will move on to Germany.

Live export of piglets
Every year Holland transports almost 5 million live pigs to Germany. That’s more than half of all the Dutch export pigs. For these pigs the sedation also costs only one cent per kilo. The growth of the pig meat market in Germany is to a great extent due to supermarkets Aldi and Lidl.

In Holland these companies already agreed to only sell meat from pigs castrated while anesthetized, but in Germany this isn’t the case. In their new campaign PROVIEH and Wakker Dier will point this out to German consumers and companies. “The German meat industry has to start making animal welfare demands for Dutch and German piglets. When Germany follows, the rest of Europe cannot stay behind.”

Effective campaign
After several radio commercials and other press attracting activities the Dutch supermarkets succumbed to the Wakker Dier campaign. Company after company was convinced to make an animal friendly choice. McDonald’s, BurgerKing, CoopCodis and Febo even abolished the castration altogether.

Then the declaration of Noordwijk followed: government, meat industry and supermarkets jointly signed an agreement in which they declared that from januari 2009 the whole of Holland will no longer eat and export meat from piglets castrated without anesthesia.

Boar Odour
Male pigs (boars) are castrated to prevent ‘boar odour’: a smell that is released when the meat of a small percentage of boars, is cooked. Recent research shows that most people are not even bothered by the smell. In England, Spain, Portugal and New Zealand, pigs are not castrated. In Norway the sedation is mandatory. Several countries, like Denmark and Austria, are discussing the problem due to the Dutch campaign.

Related Website
• Wakker Dier
• Provieh

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