Spanish pig farms not compliant with EU law

By Line Elise Svanevik

- Last updated on GMT

Spanish pig farms not compliant with EU law

Related tags European union Domestic pig Eu Livestock Pork

An investigation into Spanish pig farms by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) has revealed illegal standards of living for pigs, the charity has claimed.

Footage seized by the investigators showed pig bins full of dead pigs, which had been there for so long that maggots were feeding on the dead flesh; pigs lying in their own excrement and standing in flooded waste; no enrichment; severely docked tails and overcrowded environments with injured pigs huddled, unable to move with ease.

The situation is illegal in several ways. Firstly, the use of sow stalls on these Spanish farms was banned in the EU earlier this year.

Secondly, the law requires that fattening pigs must be given straw or other natural manipulable material. However, millions of fattening pigs are kept indoors in barren housing, with little or no bedding and a lack of suitable enrichment.

Lastly, all pigs seen on the nine farms had their tails docked and may have been subjected to mutilations, including castration and teeth-cutting.

The investigation has proved that buying unprocessed meat does not necessarily mean security of better welfare, said the charity.

WIWF CEO Philip Lymbery claimed the footage released showed: “Bins full of dead pigs being eaten by maggots, piglets lying in their own filth, pregnant sows kept in sow stalls so narrow that they cannot even turn around: this is a horrific reality check.

“We must do more to ensure pigs are treated as the sentient beings they are. What use is a Directive if we don’t follow it throughout the EU? This footage shows that the Commission must do more to enforce the Pigs Directive and penalise those flouting it,”​ Lymbery added.

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