'Hope', our giant inflatable pig, the size of a double decker bus, is being taken on a tour of Europe to bring attention to the plight of pigs in countries where they are suffering in illegal and inhumane conditions.
Throughout March, 'Hope the pig' will be promoting pig welfare in Europe, visiting Paris, Rotterdam, Berlin, Warsaw, Prague and Brussels.
Compassion has spent the last year collecting signatures calling on EU Agriculture Ministers to take action against countries flouting pig welfare laws. Since the campaign began, the pig petition has gained 350,000 signatures.
The EU Pigs Directive requires that pigs be given enrichment materials such as straw. It also bans routine cutting of tails, which is scientifically proven to be unnecessary if the pigs are kept in good welfare conditions, as they are then not driven to bite the tails of other pigs.
Compassion's recent undercover investigations have revealed some of the worst cases of animal cruelty we've ever seen. Our investigations revealed entire farms of pigs with their tails illegally docked, living in overcrowded, barren pens; animals covered in their own filth; pigs with abscesses and some even missing eyes.
Emma Slawinski, Compassion's Head of Campaigns and Advocacy, says: "350,000 signatures proves to what extent EU residents care about pig welfare. Surely this should make the EU member states take notice and ensure that animal welfare legislation is enforced.
"Europe's illegal pig cruelty is a colossal problem and for that we urgently need a giant solution. That is why Compassion is bringing 'Hope' to Europe's pigs."