Pigs Are Worth It.
So reads the mission statement that hangs next to my farm’s entrance.
It’s a simple statement that is emblematic of my intent as a farmer of pigs, here in the heartlands of Essex. Pigs, like any other animal that is raised for slaughter, deserve to be treated well in the life that they lead.
This website used to be owned by BPEX, The British Pig Executive. In 2008, they ran a successful campaign to ensure compliance amongst the entire EU in regards to the banning of sow stalls. The use of sow stalls, to keep female pigs after they have been inseminated, was a practice banned in the UK in 1999. This practice causes significant emotional and physical trauma to the animal, during a time when they should be cared for the most.
Sow stalls are often just large enough to keep the pig itself. With barely enough room to take a step forward or back, the animal is packed in tightly with hundreds of it’s fellow creatures. Feeding conditions are often overlooked. Single troughs line the fronts of the cages, pigs all share feed from this. However, due to there being no space for the animal to defecate, waste and feed is often mixed together, leading to serious illness.
Similar to the keeping of chickens in battery farms, sow stalls economise space at the cost of the animals’ well being and the quality of the resulting meat. Although it can be easy for large scale manufacturers to ignore the plight of individual creatures; as a pig farmer, I know that raising happier animals leads to a higher standard of product and makes me feel a great deal better about my day-to-day work.
I’m proud to say that I’ve never used Sow Stalls, or any other restrictive living environments, to keep my animals. Their well-being, from birth to slaughter, is my ultimate priority.
This blog catalogues the progress of my farm, challenges that I face in the industry, as well as the ongoing battle for Pork Compliance throughout the EU.