Take action against the horror at Hogwood Farm | Viva!

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Pigs are suffering on British farms right now. The good news is that veganism is rising, and this is partly due to undercover investigations and campaigns by Viva! and Viva! Campaigns, which are recognised in the national press. Your donations fund this life-saving work, and every penny is vital. Help us end the cruelty now! Click here to learn more.

Piglets like these are confined and mutilated.


 

 

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A scientific review by Emory University in the USA shows that pigs are just as smart as our closest living relatives, chimpanzees. Pigs once lived wild in most of Britain, in small family groups. As forest dwellers, they spent much of their lives rooting in the soil. Yet the vast majority of British pigs raised for meat are denied even that. Most sows are routinely caged to give birth. Their babies are mutilated without pain relief and kept indoors in intensive units – from the ramshackle to the gigantic – where they can perform almost none of their natural behaviours.Around 5 million pigs are alive in Britain at any one time. Most are factory farmed. A tiny percentage (1 per cent) of pigs are organically farmed in the UK. About 40 per cent of ‘breeding sows’ give birth outdoors, but many of the piglets born outside will still be reared indoors. Staggeringly it is still the norm for pigs in Britain to be kept in intensive industrial units. Although some farms allow straw, most pigs are condemned to barren hovels with just footballs or chains hanging from the ceiling as a pitiful form of ‘environmental enrichment’. This causes extreme frustration and boredom for these bright animals.

Mothers in Crates

Her eyes tell a story of emotional and physical pain. She is an animal completely neglected by society. 

Birth is magical - but not when it takes place in a cage like this, only inches bigger than the mother’s body. What should be beautiful and rewarding becomes horribly obscene. And yet, Britain still places 60 per cent of mother sows inside 'farrowing crates' to give birth, where they can barely move for five weeks at a time. Contrast this to the wild, where mother sows build nests from twigs and leaves, and can walk many kilometres to find a suitable site. 
 

Torn Away

The natural age for pigs to stop drinking their mother's milk is 12 to 15 weeks, but on British farms piglets are weaned artificially at just 3 to 4 weeks old. This is often more than piglets’ immature digestive systems can cope with and can lead to scours – severe diarrhoea. As a result, piglets require medication and, in intensive conditions, end up on a daily regime of drugs, including antibiotics. Intensive antibiotic use in pig farms has led to the development of ‘superbugs’, which are antibiotic-resistant bacteria which threaten even human medicine supplies. Almost one-fifth of piglets do not survive until weaning.

 

Mutilating Babies

About 80 per cent of British piglets suffer major types of mutilations, including ‘teeth clipping’ and ‘tail docking’ – both without pain relief. Viva! has exposed this horrifying process in the national press. 

Teeth clipping can lead to teeth and gum damage, chronic pain and risk of infection. Tail docking (cutting off part of the tail) is carried out to try and prevent pigs biting each other, causing stress and intense pain. Tail-biting is directly caused by boredom, frustration and a lack of environmental enrichment. Wild pigs don't do it.

Slaughter

Mother pigs are killed at 4 years old for ‘low-grade’ meat. Their piglets’ lives are cut short at just 5 to 6 months old for pork, bacon, sausages and ham. Their natural lifespan is 12 to 15 years. Although the pig industry changes little – people can change. Almost all pigs are reared indoors for meat but the British consumer is increasingly refusing to buy it. Whilst in 2014 around 10 million pigs were slaughtered in the UK, Brits are eating less and less pig meat each year. There is still carnage, but the trend is firmly in the right direction. 

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Why do we need you?

Viva! has complained about many farms over the years to the government, but action has not been taken. As consumers we have to face up to the fact that the government protects agribusiness, and it is up to us to take responsibility for the welfare of farmed animals.

 

We have the power to use our colossal consumer power to buy kind – and that means a vegan diet.

 

Viva! gives people the truth about factory farming through our investigations - away from all the marketing hype of those companies who want to sell us meat, dairy and eggs. We provide resources for new vegans and, over the years, we have helped many thousands of people become vegan and stay that way. Viva! saves lives and every new vegan has the chance to save over 11000 innocent lives over their lifetime. We need your help to continue this vital work. We want to create a kinder world - and we need you to help us do it.

Help us to stop this cruelty for good. Please donate.