Hundreds of millions of pigs around the world are kept in factory farms. Just under 1 billion animals in the world today are pigs. Over 500 million of these pigs live in industrialised systems, known as factory farms. Being kept in such intensive conditions has severe health and welfare implications for the animals involved.
Compassion in World Farming has campaigned for many years to ensure higher welfare standards for pigs. During this time we have seen vital steps forward, including the recognition of animals as sentient beings within the EU (Lisbon Treaty, 2009), and the passage of legislation such as Council Directive 2008/120/EC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs.
What we are doing: Project Pig
Getting sows out of stalls
Project Pig is Compassion’s campaign to build on the legislative advances made within the EU, with specific regard to enforcing the Pigs Directive across Europe. Our initial emphasis was on the 2013 Sow Stall Ban, and Project Pig lobbied DEFRA, the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU Agriculture Ministers to stop some of the routine abuses of pig welfare and seek to ensure that all nations were fully compliant with the Sow Stall ban when it came into force on 1st Jan 2013. A number of countries continue to be non-compliant on this ban.
Enforcing European pig welfare law
We also monitor and make formal complaints to the European Commission regarding breaches of the Pigs Directive by EU countries which can result in these countries being taken to the European Court. In February 2013 the European Commission began infraction proceedings against 9 EU Member States for failing to be compliant with the ban. By January 2014 this number had fallen to 6 non-compliant Member States.
Between March 2013 and March 2014, 475,576 people signed our petition calling on every EU Agriculture Minister to ensure that their country complies fully with the EU Pigs Directive.
Over the coming years we will continue to press for 100% compliance with the sow stall ban whilst also seeking to ensure a reduction in routine tail docking of pigs produced in the EU, enforcement of the requirement regarding the provision of enrichment materials, and for the Commission to agree to full transparency on compliance levels with the Pigs Directive.