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A Compassionate Year

News Section Icon Published 23/12/2013

We've had an action-packed year, here at Compassion. With your help, we've led the fight for better farm animal welfare using campaigning methods, investigations, political lobbying and work with food businesses. Here is a quick round-up of 2013:

The year kicked off with the EU partial ban on sow stalls on January 1st. In response to non-compliant countries, our lobbying and campaigns teams put pressure on governments and the European Commission to act. Compassion's food business team worked with UK retailers, urging them to avoid supplying pork from these countries. Over a million of you sent letters to politicians and government bodies in support of the ban.

In February we launched an exciting new venture called 'The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare' (BBFAW), measuring the world's leading food companies on their approach to reporting on farm animal welfare. The results are already pushing the food industry to treat animal welfare as an investment matter.

Thanks to the immense generosity of supporters who responded to an appeal in February, we were able to step up our work on pigs in spring and early summer. Our investigation in March exposed shocking breaches of pig welfare laws at farms in Spain. Thousands of you signed our petition calling on the EU Agriculture Ministers to enforce the law.

The Compassion in London local group dressed up as rabbits in April and performed flash mobs outside various tube stations to raise awareness of the millions of rabbits farmed inhumanely each year.

In May, CIWF Italia, our Italian office, launched 'Sonodegno', to protest against breaches in pig welfare laws, and educate Italian citizens about the way their pigs are raised.

At the end of June, we published the results of our investigation in Ireland, exposing horrific cruelty at five pig farms. Our petition for enforcement of the EU Pigs Directive has become the fastest growing petition in our history.

We joined the newly formed 'Eating Better Alliance' in July. The alliance aims to help people adopt a more sustainable diet and supports meat production that benefits the environment, health and animal welfare

Towards the end of the summer we released results of two investigations into the live export of farm animals from Britain to the continent.

In August we held a peaceful march through London against live exports. Over 500 supporters attended, dressed in sheep and calf masks to raise awareness of the animals that are transported.

Joanna Lumley attended our press conference in September at the European Parliament in Brussels. Shocking footage from our pig investigations was shown to MEPs, journalists and key stakeholders. The event received widespread media coverage and was sponsored by supporters.

Our giant inflatable pig, 'Hope', began her tour of Europe to raise awareness of the suffering of pigs and the breaches of law in France, Italy, the Czech Republic, The Netherlands and Poland.

October saw the return of Bake with Compassion. Supporters across the country raised money for Compassion by baking with free-range, organic and vegan ingredients.

A total of 337 million farm animals are set to benefit from the Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards, which were held in Paris this year. We were excited to launch the Good Pig Award programme in China, which is home to half of the world's pigs.

October also saw the launch of our campaign to stand up against our ban from advertising on UK television. Thousands of supporters have backed our plan to make and release a film that will speak the truth about factory farming. Keep an eye out in the new year for progress on this project.

We lit up the white cliffs of Dover in November with a number of projections protesting against the live export trade.

The final results of the 'Beyond Calf Exports Stakeholders Forum' were published, presenting a 90% reduction in the number of calves exported live to the continent since 2006, and a 58% increase in the uptake of male dairy calves into the beef chain.

The second BBFAW report was published in December, showing a 10% increase in the number of companies identifying animal welfare as a business issue since the previous report.

We exposed the suffering of animals transported to a Beirut Public Slaughterhouse in our most recent investigation. As we write, more than 100,000 of our supporters across Europe have written to the Lebanese Agriculture Minister urging its immediate closure.

We'd like to say a huge thank you to our supporters for all their help this year. None of this would have been possible without them.

And now for something completely different why not watch our musical take on animal welfare for the festive season?