Stop Illegal Practices on European Union Pig Farms

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Originally Posted: 2 February 2010

Stop Illegal Practices on European Union Pig Farms

FROM Compassion in World Farming

Tell European Union (EU) Commissioner to enforce "The Pigs Directive," since undercover footage validates that the vast majority of pigs reared in the EU are being farmed illegally.


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Compassion in World Farming has been filming undercover in Europe’s pig farms for 18 months. What we found was shocking – an apparent disregard for pig welfare law and political failure to enforce it. Failure to comply with important welfare legislation puts Europe’s pigs at risk of profound suffering.

This graphic footage, released at a press conference in Brussels on 21 January 2010, is intended to raise awareness of this scandal with the European public.

Following our press launch in Brussels, the scandal of Europe's illegal pig farms has received coverage in over 11 countries throughout Europe and beyond. The results of the undercover investigations have been covered by publications such as the daily French newspaper, Liberation, the Dutch national newspapers De Telegraaaf and De Pers, the Belgian online news source De Standaard and Swedish National TV, Aktuellt, with an audience of 940,000 (watch from 3.17 min for the full report).

The EU Pigs Directive requires that pigs are given straw or similar rooting material so that they can engage in their natural behaviours. But this rarely happens.

In the barren world of the factory farm, pigs quickly become bored and frustrated and they often bite each other’s tails. Instead of providing their pigs with a more interesting environment, many farmers simply cut off, or "dock", their tails. A report by the European Food Safety Authority found that over 90% of Europe’s pigs are tail-docked yet it is illegal to do this routinely.

Thank you for everything you do for animals!