Alleged abuse of pigs in Italy

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

CiWF claims pigs were treated badly on farms in Italy (stock image)
CiWF claims pigs were treated badly on farms in Italy (stock image)

Related tags European union Livestock Pork

An undercover investigation by a British animal welfare organisation has revealed alleged abuse of pigs on farms in Italy.

Compassion in World Farming (CiWF) said its investigators had found evidence of pigs “crowded together in inhumane conditions suffering routine cruelty”​ on 11 farms across Italy.

It claimed that all of the farms were “blatantly flouting”​ EU rules on animal welfare for pigs, such as the ban on routine tail-docking and the requirement for pigs to be given straw or some other natural material so they can engage in their innate investigation behaviours.

The charity has posted a film on its website with footage allegedly showing pigs housed on bare concrete and left sick and injured from in-fighting, with one animal so wounded that it died from its injuries.

“We believe these farms to be representative of the massive Italian pig industry – which means up to 13 million Italian pigs could be enduring these terrible conditions every year,”​ said a spokesperson.

“We must tell the world what is happening behind the closed doors of Italian pig farms.”

CiWF has now launched an EU-wide petition calling on agriculture ministers from all 27 EU member states to ensure the EU Pigs Directive – which aims to protect pig welfare – is enforced.

“In a large majority of farms in Europe, pigs are often kept in barren conditions, on slatted floors without straw or bedding, suffering routine mutilations, in breach of the European law designed to protect pig welfare,”​ said the petition.

“Despite countries having had almost 11 years to implement this legislation, its requirements are not properly enforced and rules are being regularly flouted across the EU: this is causing suffering to millions of pigs every year in the European Union.”

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