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Animal welfare – pigs

Actress Joana Lumley, a leading supporter of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), was in the European Parliament recently as the face of a report on breaches of pig welfare in the EU.

The CIWF report, which investigated pig farms in six EU Member States including Ireland, alleged widespread breaches of pig welfare law. The event, attended mainly by NGOs, press, Member State representatives and a scattering of (mainly-UK) MEPs, heard that CIWF carried out undercover investigations on 45 pig farms in 2013. It was said that tail-docking, which should only be used as a last resort, is carried out almost universally and that enrichment material is very rarely provided for pigs. CIWF, as well as being critical of the Member States concerned, said that it is completely unacceptable that the European Commission and the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) are not taking legal action to enforce standards. There was also criticism of the veterinarians, under whose care the animals on the farms are and who are responsible for their welfare. CIWF suggested that such veterinarians are complicit and are turning a blind eye to the conditions of the animals.