It has committed to end the use of cages for pregnant pigs by 2020 and to keep all pigs in groups, with material provided to allow for expressions of natural behaviour.
The move will result in improved welfare for approximately 20,000 mother pigs and 400,000 pigs raised for meat annually, said World Animal Protection. The charity has been working with Dexing since 2015 to trial and scale up improved pig welfare practices.
This announcement follows a number of pork producers offering up welfare commitments. In 2017, fellow Chinese producer Qinglian announced it would end the use of cages for pregnant pigs by 2025, while CP Foods has committed to get mother pigs out of cages and living in groups by 2025 in Thailand, and globally by 2028.
Tops Market in Thailand announced in August 2018 that it would end the use of cages for pregnant pigs by 2027, while Betagro Group, Thailand’s largest pork producer, announced in September 2017 a commitment to end cages for pregnant and lactating pigs by 2027.
Additionally in the US, national supermarket chain Kroger committed to end the use of cages for pregnant pigs in its fresh pork supply by 2025.
Jacqui Mills, global head of farming for World Animal Protection, said: “We are delighted that the food industry is showing true leadership and responding to our asks to ensure that pigs are raised right around the world.
“Pigs suffer immensely in factory farms, but more and more producers are starting to see cruelty and confinement isn’t the best way forward, and that higher welfare is better for pigs, people and business.
“Good animal welfare practices also reduce stress, injury and disease, decreasing the overuse of antibiotics - a major contributor to superbugs in people. We are urging producers and supermarkets to join the expanding list of companies phasing out cages for pigs, bringing in enrichment and ending cruel mutilations of piglets. We want to see companies take their first steps towards higher-welfare pig farming.”