Tuesday, 16 September 2008

A pig of a life?

577516_93656354Pigs get a bad press. With an unfair reputation for dirtiness and gluttony, pigs are in fact lively, inquisitive and affectionate creatures. It's claimed that the average pig is at least as intelligent as a domestic dog and certainly has the same capacity to feel pain and suffering. So why is it that millions of pigs are incarcerated in factory farms where they face a life of boredom and frustration?

A typical factory-farmed pig is taken from its mother at just three weeks old and put in a barren pen without bedding. The stress of this early separation makes his immune system weak and because he's kept in cramped, unhygienic conditions, he's fed antibiotics to fend off disease. Bored and frustrated, he'll start fighting with other piglets so to prevent injuries, his tail will be docked and teeth cut. He may also be castrated. These painful procedures are all carried out without anaesthesia.

His mother fares no better. Treated as a piglet production unit, during her unnaturally short life she is moved from one cage to another where she can barely move, let alone turn around. The narrow farrowing crate where she gives birth prevents her from mothering her piglets naturally, causing distress.

Compassion in World Farming is the leading farm animal welfare charity working to end factory farming - the biggest cause of animal cruelty on the planet.

Our campaigns to date have been instrumental in reforming EU welfare legislation which will make a huge difference to the lives of farmed pigs - and we couldn't have achieved it without the generosity of our supporters. But there's still so much more to do, for the 1.3 billion pigs slaughtered worldwide for meat, and the other 60 billion animals reared each year for food.

So please, support Compassion in World Farming today.

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