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China Takes Major Step Forward to Improve Pig Welfare

6 June 2017, at 12:00am

CHINA - China took a major step forward to improve the welfare of pigs on Monday, 5 June.

According to Jonaid Jilani, Global Media Manager at World Animal Protection, millions of pigs experience physical and psychological suffering on farms around the world on a daily basis. The rising demand for pork has led to most food suppliers overlooking animal welfare in favour of low cost meat.

As a result, pigs reared for meat are being kept in cramped and uncomfortable conditions, often on hard concrete floors and with no natural light. The majority of sows used for breeding are kept in cages so narrow that they cannot turn around, Mr Jilani says.

According to Mr Jilani, Da Be Nong, one of China’s leading agricultural producers, signed a statement of intent with World Animal Protection and the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW) to start improving the lives of pigs across all of its production sites.

The signing ceremony took place between Zhao Zhonghua, Country Director of World Animal Protection China, Song Weiping, vice president of Da Bei Nong, and Xi Chunling, founder and executive president of ICCAW.

This major move involves a trial group housing for sows and reduction of stocking density for growing pigs. As per the agreement, all animals will be provided with more effective and enriched housing systems and more comfortable flooring.

Mr Jilani hopes that this will help to reduce aggressiveness, thereby cutting down injuries and lameness in pigs. With ICCAW, World Animal Protection also plans to provide ongoing support and guidance to pig producers.

Around the world, consumers and retailers are increasingly demanding higher welfare products. According to a survey by World Animal Protection in China in 2016, two-thirds of the Chinese population are willing to pay more for higher welfare pork.

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