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News Section Icon Published 20/05/2009

The advert, which appeared in most national newspapers in spring 2009

Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agrees piglets feel pain when their teeth are clipped without anaesthetic.

A complaint about our recent pig advert has backfired on the intensive pig farming industry as the UK's advertising regulator, the ASA, today backed our claim that piglets feel pain just like a human would when their teeth are clipped without anaesthetic.

The ASA was asked to investigate our recent advertisement which appeared in the national press earlier this year and is currently running in this month's edition of Jamie Oliver's magazine. The reader was asked: "What noise does a piglet make when its teeth are cut off with pliers - without anaesthetic? Same as you."

A farmer complained stating that piglets don't get distressed if their teeth are clipped properly without anaesthetic.

The ASA looked at the scientific evidence and concluded that Compassion in World Farming was truthful in stating that piglets squeal in pain when they have their teeth clipped without anaesthetic. This is because piglets' teeth contain nerves and they feel pain as a result of tissue damage just like humans would.

Routine clipping of the teeth of young pigs is banned under EU legislation, yet it happens regularly in most standard intensive pig farms in the UK. Despite the ban, the British Pig Executive (BPEX) reported last year that 57% of pig farmers in the UK clip the teeth of all of their pigs.

Compassion in World Farming's Chief Executive, Philip Lymbery, said: "This ruling is a victory for common sense. Tooth clipping is painful. It is banned in leading pig producing countries such as Denmark and Germany. The ASA has recognised the reality of modern intensive pig farming. Our legislators need to do the same and act now to end such cruel and unnecessary mutilations."

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