As the son of a Yorkshire pigfarmer, naturally I am following the Safe pork/ Mike King story with interest.
I recall my dad's 'farrowing unit' featured sow crates just like what people are moaning about.
As a teenager then, I recall saying to him that it did seem cruel that the pigs were trapped like that.
But as he said, the sows do have a tendency to roll around and crush their young.
So the farms are perhaps right in a minimal use of such stalls, if that is what they do.
Of course, it might well be better to let the pigs run free and run the risk.
But back to the SAFE campaign. The campaigners have been invited to name the farm filmed on tv, but they have refused.
I saw Close Up last night and I recall the Pork industry boss was happy to show King and a camera crew pig farms at random.
But either way, if SAFE, is serious about pig welfare it will identify the offending farm and allow a public outcry or the agriculture minister, or the pork industry council to close that farm down.
In the meantime, however, SAFE seem intent on allowing pig cruelty by not idetifying the farm and this is being noted by the blogs at least. And in that respect , they are now making a pig of their campaign, as it will truly backfire.
As for the pork industry, it may well be up to government to legislate. But there will be a need for education for consumers and better labelling of pork products.
Pig-friendly pork does cost more to produce. An extra $2 a kilo, apparantly, Is the consumer happy to pay it?
40% of pork is imported. What standards were those pigs raised in producing it?
These are issues the industry and consumers need to face.
In the meantime, if TV1 wants to be naughty and cause some more distress to the pork industry, it can bring out an old movie.
I remember my dad moaning most bittery when Babe, the film featuring a 'talking' pig came out.
British kids did not want to eat cute little piggies anymore and their parents acquiesced and pork sales, and hence pig prices plumetted!!