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Dutch pig investigation reveals EU law breaches

News Section Icon Published 22/06/2011

A recent investigation by a Dutch organisation has found that many pigs in the Netherlands are still being raised in conditions that break EU law. 

An undercover investigation by Dutch animal rights group Ongehoord into 26 pig farms in the country has uncovered poor welfare conditions, widespread tail docking and no access to straw.

The investigation, which reveals breaches of the EU Pigs Directive on many of the farms, suggests little or no progress has been made to animal welfare in the Dutch pig farming industry since Compassion's own 2008 investigation into farms across Europe.

Routine tail docking is banned under the Pigs Directive, which also says pigs must have access to "manipulable material", such as straw.  Sow stalls, which will be outlawed in the EU in 18 months' time, are in widespread use.  The footage shows pigs bar biting, a clear sign of frustration.

Compassion's Director of Public Affairs, Joyce D'Silva, said: "From this footage, it appears that little in the Netherlands has changed since our 2008 investigation into pig farming in the EU revealed widespread breaches of the Pigs Directive.

"Compassion will be leading a concerted effort in the EU to press member states to act to improve pig welfare. Enforcing the Directive would make a positive difference to the lives of millions of animals."

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