Raise Pigs Right
Pigs are some of the most intensively farmed animals on the planet. With your support, we want to improve the lives of millions of mother pigs all around the world.
Like all pigs, given the choice, mother pigs would spend hours roaming around foraging for food and socialising with other pigs. And when it comes to the time for them to give birth, they would be able to follow their natural urge to build a nest for their piglets.
But on factory farms, they are prevented from doing any of these things.
Three out of four of the world’s mother pigs spend much of their lives confined in steel cages no bigger than an average fridge. They are breeding machines, producing litter upon litter of piglets that are then reared for pork.
We want supermarkets to give mother pigs a better life.
Supermarkets hold the power to create better lives for pigs. Pork is big business, with supermarkets spending millions each year buying pork from factory farms.
We’re demanding well-known supermarkets, here in the UK and around the world, make a promise to sell pork from pigs that have been raised right.
We want supermarkets to make a public commitment to end the use of cages for mother pigs in whatever country the farms that supply them are located.
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Tesco and Tesco Lotus
Established in 1998, Tesco Lotus is the Tesco Group’s second largest business outside the UK operating a network of more than 2,000 stores across Thailand.
We want to see the Tesco Group make a public commitment that would mean pork sold in Tesco Lotus stores in Thailand does not come from farms that confine mother pigs in cages.
Tesco needs to ensure pigs are raised right whether a mother pig is being reared on a farm in Thailand or the UK.
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The life of mother pigs around the world
Sadly, pregnancy cages, also known as ‘sow stalls’, are used in many countries, including the USA, China and Thailand. Mother pigs are unable to turn around, forage, explore, move comfortably, or socialise with other pigs.
The life of a mother pig in the UK
Pregnancy cages were banned in the UK in 1999. Around 40% of the UK’s mother pigs are kept outside where they are free to root around and perform more natural behaviours when giving birth.
The rest must be kept in group-housing when pregnant, not in cages, and materials such as straw should be provided to allow them to explore and forage.
But unfortunately, many mother pigs in the UK are often still put into restrictive farrowing crates for weeks at a time to give birth and while they are feeding their piglets. Once the piglets have been weaned the sows go back to their pens until they become pregnant again.
Ideally, we’d like to see mother pigs give birth in ‘free farrowing’ systems. These mean mother pigs can build nests and move around freely, while minimising the risk of accidentally lying on their piglets.
What else you can do
When buying pork products in supermarkets including bacon, ham or pork meat buy products with higher welfare labels including organic or outdoor reared.
Read our ‘A Pigs Tale’ Report to find out more about the lives of factory farmed pigs and the higher welfare alternatives we want to see introduced.
Keep an eye on our website, Facebook page, and other social media over the next few months to learn how you can help us improve the lives of pigs wherever they are farmed.