EU Citizens Demand Action for Pigs18 June 2013
EU - Compassion’s latest EU-wide pig campaign has set a new record: In just two weeks, the new pig campaign petition, coinciding with its Italian office launch, has achieved 100,000 signatures.
Dil Peeling, CIWF's Director of Campaigns, said: "This proves to what extent EU residents care about pig welfare. Surely this should make the 27 EU member states take notice and ensure that animal welfare legislation is enforced."
This early success is a promising sign of things to come for the campaign. Annamaria Pisapia, Director of CIWF Italy, which has collected almost 50 per cent of the signatures, said: "We weren't expecting this many signatures so early in the campaign. We are so excited - for the pigs and the increasing chances of enforcing legislation throughout Europe and for the future of CIWF Italia."
Project Pig, Compassion's EU-wide pig campaign, raises awareness of the conditions on many EU pig farms and the flagrant disregard of EU legislation.
In the last few months, Compassion has released two investigations into how Spanish and Italian pigs are farmed; highlighting the extremes of low welfare and disregard for the pigs’ safety and well-being.
Over ten million pigs are bred in Italy every year. Of these, more than 95 per cent are reared in factory farms. These statistics are staggering in themselves, but Compassion's investigative footage portrays the lows of pig farming in Italy: each of the 11 farms visited by Compassion's Investigations Unit was found to be violating EU Directives.
According to CIWF, at some farms, dead pigs were abandoned in the corners. With other pigs visibly seriously injured - left without care. Many of the pigs had serious eye infections, leaving their eyes bright red and painful.
"The conditions of the pigs on the farms that we observed are not only illegal, but also ethically unacceptable," added Ms Pisapia.
In Spain, 'pig bins' full of dead pigs were found outside some farms. Not only were these full of dead pigs, but some had maggots feeding on the dead flesh, and in addition to the smell, suggested that they had been there for some length of time.
A member of Compassion's Investigations Unit said: "I have never seen such squalor. Nor pigs so deprived. With no stimulation, animals take out their frustrations on each other. In some pens this was clearly the case: scratches and bite marks scarring the animals.
"Placards showing the EU flag hung so proudly at the front of one farm, highlighting it had received funding from the European Union. I felt sick knowing that tax-payers’ money was pouring in here, when just a few yards away pigs were living in such unspeakable conditions – illegal under EU law."
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