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First Came the Egg, Then the Chicken... Now the Pig!

by 5m Editor
14 February 2012, at 10:18am

UK - Compassion in World Farming is pleased to introduce a new award to its suite of Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards. The Good Pig Award celebrates companies that are using, or committing to using, higher welfare production systems for sows and meat pigs. The award is open to all well known or notable food companies in Europe.

Award winners must have a policy, or a five-year welfare commitment, for their sows and meat pigs to achieve a full Good Pig Award. The criteria* address issues of confinement, lack of “manipulable materials“, tail docking, teeth clipping/grinding and surgical castration. To find out more, please visit www.compassioninfoodbusiness.com or contact the Food Business Team on T: 01483 521950.

Compassion recognises that continually improving the welfare of pigs can be difficult for companies, which is why the organisation’s Food Business Team offers resources to help at every step of the way. Resources will include a series of information sheets on each criterion of the award, case studies of producers demonstrating best practice in high welfare systems and ongoing support and advice.

Furthermore, winning an accolade for animal welfare can provide excellent marketing opportunities and have a positive effect on the reputation of participating organisations. With consumers increasingly turning to more ethical produce, it makes sense for producers to move to higher welfare farming systems and husbandry in order to stay competitive.

David Neal, Production Manager for Dent Ltd, the third largest pig meat producer in the UK is a firm believer that farms which run with the welfare of its pigs at its core can be successful. He says: "Dent’s farms’ success is down to immaculately kept buildings; plenty of straw and genuine care for the welfare of the pigs. Dent’s farms are proof that farms can be productive and profitable while keeping the welfare of the pigs at the heart of the process."

In 2011, Compassion awarded eight producers that are making tangible benefits to pig welfare with a ‘Leadership in Pig Welfare’ award and more than 248 thousand sows and meat pigs are set to benefit each year as a result of these award winners’ policies alone. Compassion is looking forward to awarding those taking even further steps with a Good Sow Commendation, a Good Pig Commendation or a full Good Pig Award for being both sow and meat pig friendly.

The Good Pig Award will sit alongside the Good Egg, Good Chicken and Good Dairy awards as part of Compassion’s full suite of Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards.