English actress Joanna Lumley has spoken out against the neglect of pigs in Cyprus and other farms throughout Europe, following an investigation by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).
A spokeswoman for the charity said CIWF went undercover in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain over a six month period to expose the conditions of European pig farms.
Of the 45 farms visited by investigators, all but one were found to be in violation of EU welfare laws, which require pigs to be provided with materials, such as straw, so that they may engage in natural behaviors.
“In natural conditions pigs are highly active, spending 75 percent of their day rooting, foraging and exploring,” said the spokeswoman.
“Such activities are impossible for factory farmed pigs. Bored and frustrated, they turn to the only other thing in their bare pens: the tails of other pigs. They begin to chew and then bite those tails,” she continued. “To prevent tail biting, farmers slice off (dock) part of the piglet’s tail. However, scientific research shows that the correct way to prevent tail biting is not to dock the tails but to keep the pigs in good conditions. In recognition of this, the Pigs Directive has since 2003 prohibited routine tail docking.”
Footage captured by CIWF shows pigs kept in squalor. They live in filthy and empty pens, often covered in excrement and flies. Sick pigs are left to die.
Lumley, a patron for CIWF, said,” I don’t know what I’m most shocked by, this ghastly film showing pigs kept in this deplorable way, or the absolute indifference of most European member states and many pig veterinarians.”
The actress urged members of the European Parliament to use their influence to ensure the Pigs Directive is enforced.
“The scandal is that the EU Pigs Directive is a law that is completely flouted. Pigs need straw to root around in and mustn’t have their tails docked. What has happened to that law? Laws must be enforced – otherwise there’s no point in parliament, there’s no point in democracy.”
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Source: Cyprus Mail