Powderham pig farm proposal abandoned

24 April 2013

Following campaigning from local pressure group, plans for a pig farm with up to 8,000 animals in east Devon have been scrapped.

The farm had been proposed on land beside the Exe Estuary owned the Earl of Devon's Powderham Estate.

The proposal for the intensive pig farm had given rise to considerable and widespread local concerns.

Compassion in World Farming had contacted the planning authorities in order to make sure that the planned farm was capable of satisfying the EU law. The system that would be used wasn't clear at this stage.

EU law requires pigs to be given manipulable material in order that they can satisfy their strong instincts to engage in investigation and manipulation. The same legislation states that piglet's tails cannot be routinely docked.

Systems that use fully-slatted floors make the provision of manipulable materials difficult. This is because straw and other materials can block the gaps in the slats and most slurry systems are not designed to deal with straw.

Compassion is not aware of any fully slatted system that allows for the adequate provision of manipulable materials. Nor are we aware of any fully slatted system that has successfully managed to avoid docking piglet's tails, due to the tail biting problems that arise in the absence of manipulable materials.

Without knowing which system was intended at this farm, it isn't clear whether it would have had low or high welfare potential.

The estate said the plans had been shelved after it looked into the concerns which were raised.

It said it "values its relationship with the local community and the views of Parish Councils and residents were taken into account when arriving at this decision".

Find out more about Compassion's work to improve pig welfare across the EU >>


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