Footage exposes illegal practices on EU pig farms

A Compassion in World Farming undercover investigation carried out by Ecostorm – together with a report by the European Food Safety Authority – has suggested that many of the 250 million pigs reared each year in the European Union are being farmed in illegal conditions.

A new film, launched in Brussels, presented graphic footage showing farmers’ apparent failure to follow the law and governments’ failure to enforce it. During an 18-month undercover investigation, starting in 2008, Compassion and Ecostorm visited 74 pig farms in six EU Member States: the UK, Denmark, Hungary, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

The vast majority of the pigs investigators saw had their tails docked (cut off) and most had no straw or other manipulable materials provided. EU law says clearly that pigs should not be routinely tail-docked and that enrichment materials must be provided.

The investigation uncovered tail-docked pigs living on barren concrete floors in conditions of utter deprivation that are totally unsuitable for these highly active, intelligent animals. Compassion in World Farming have filed formal complaints to the European Commission against several of these countries.