Cages for one million Chinese pigs pulled

By Oscar Rousseau contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sow stalls will be phased out to give pigs the option to move around freely
Sow stalls will be phased out to give pigs the option to move around freely

Related tags: Agriculture

China’s animal welfare awakening has gathered pace after Qinglian Food Company committed to phase out cramped sow stalls by 2025.

The breeding and meat processing firm will cut the number of sow stalls in use on its farms to zero within the next eight years.

Pigs will have considerably more room to move around as a result. It helps de-stress animals, allowing them to express their natural behaviours, which animal activists claim is vital for welfare.

Xu Mingshu, president of Qinglian Food Company, said: “For many years we have trialled traditional farming methods, but now, under the guidance of World Animal Protection, we are pleased that allowing pigs the room to move and interact with other pigs will help our company become more sustainable in the long term​.”

‘Future’ of pig welfare

International charity World Animal Protection advised Qinglian Food Company on how it could meet rising meat demand while adhering to high welfare standards.

The move comes as increasingly hostile animal welfare groups continue to target meat companies.​ It is unclear if Qinglian Food Company has been on the receiving end of this, but many meat industry representatives have spoken about the need to tackle anti-meat campaigning​.

World Animal Protection has a unique take: instead of castigating industry, the charity works with some of the biggest meat companies, including BRF and Betagro​, to implement welfare reform.

Raising around 700 million pigs per year, China is home to around half of the world’s pig population.

‘Hope’ others follow suit

Referring to Qinglian’s move, Steve McIvor, CEO of World Animal Protection, said: “This is a terrific opportunity to shape the future of the welfare of pigs in China. We congratulate Qinglian on this move and are keen to support and help them lead the way as they work to improve the welfare of pigs on their farms​.”

Zhao Zhonghua, country director of World Animal Protection in China, added: “As our economy develops, Chinese consumers are caring more about food safety and sustainable agriculture. We hope that more companies in China will help to improve the welfare of animals, so there are healthier and happier animals, safer food for consumers and a transformation to modern farming​.”

Industrial giant China has a mixed reputation when it comes to animal cruelty. It has taken steps to address this​ of late by developing its first-ever animal welfare law, still in draft form, and working with the RSPCA to introduce European-style welfare reform.

Related topics: Livestock, Poultry, Brazil, China, Pork

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Time after Time

Posted by Chris,

Two years on - and no announcement of any "progress". Just more of the same from "meat producers". More pigs, more cruelty, more money. And no update from "World Animal Protection"???

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Pig cages

Posted by Stuart Fox,

Worldwide, aren't we just lower than slime in the gutter when it comes to welfare of animals?
We mis treat all types of animal on the planet and yet they have the same rights that humans have as they evolved along side us!
There is no excuse - period.
No excuse that sections of the human civilisation need to treat animals with disrespect because they need to eat.
Who on Gods earth (not a religious proclamation!) has the right to put pigs in cages so they cannot move about? Chickens in their thousands in conditions where they peck at each other. Regretably most of this is from China - once a leader in civilisation - now one of the worst in the world for animal cruelty.
It is said that a very large proportion of chickens for sale in the UK come from China.
I am waiting for the labelling to show country of origin then I can decide whether to buy or not.
China? No way - you bet!!
I haven't seen one instance of a Chinese family having a pet - be it dog, cat or otherwise. Probably because they eat these creatures.

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Posted by Anne Persoon,

There is still 8 years to go before it is done with the cramped stalled!!!

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