Music and pep talk prep Taiwan pigs for slaughter

TAOYUAN COUNTY - The temperature is set at a comfortable level. The drinking water is purified. Pop music plays overhead. And every weekend the host organises a stroll in the woods and encouraging words.
calendar icon 18 June 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

But this is not a hotel, or even a weekend spa -- this is a Taiwanese pig farm whose livestock is destined for slaughter.

Veteran pig farmers Liang Chian-he and son-in-law Liang Hsin-lang raise 2,500 swine in Taoyuan county, an hour's drive from Taipei, with what they describe as "unusually compassionate care" to produce pork soft and fragrant enough to command three times the normal price.

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"We find it hard to part, but I talk to them, telling them they're going to do their last duty,"

Liang Hsin-lang

"I understand how pigs think," said Liang, 42, manager of the 53-year-old family ranch. "Every pig must be slaughtered, but in those months they're given every comfort."

"We find it hard to part, but I talk to them, telling them they're going to do their last duty," the younger Liang said.

The 1.2 acre Hsin Hsiu Pig Ranch has been visited by Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian and delegates from a private U.S. agricultural organisation. The pork won a contest sponsored by a local TV station in 2005.

This pig paradise bloomed about seven years ago. The elder Liang, 70, said he used techniques from Denmark and Japan and his own observations of pig behaviour to plan a care routine on the theory that happy animals yield the best meat.

Source: Reuters

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