NEW YORK, April 17, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pigs are among the most intensively farmed animals on the planet, suffering at every stage of their lives. But major supermarket brands have the power to end the cruel suffering of pigs farmed for pork, says World Animal Protection.
The global animal welfare organization is calling on leading global supermarkets to source their pork from suppliers with high animal welfare standards or to risk losing customers.
A series of international research studies reveal that the vast majority of supermarket shoppers internationally are concerned about the treatment of factory-farmed pigs, with 89% of people surveyed willing to change where they shop if a supermarket commits to improving the lives of pigs.
As the demand for cheap pork continues to grow around the world, factory farming is working animals harder than ever.
Some of the cruel practices that lead to the lifelong suffering of pigs in intensive farming include:
Three out of four of the world's mother pigs remaining in cages, known as gestation crates. Used as breeding machines, their piglets taken away from them, these mother pigs spend their lives in steel cages no bigger than a refrigerator, unable to turn around.
Piglets being cruelly mutilated, often without pain relief: their tails are cut, their teeth are ground or clipped, their ears notched, and most male piglets are castrated.
Pigs being squashed together in dark, squalid warehouses, forced to lie in their own waste. These cramped, stressful conditions provide the perfect breeding ground for the spread of infection, leading to the routine and indiscriminate use of antibiotics.
A series of international research studies conducted for World Animal Protection found that:
Eight out of ten people (80%) in the U.S. were concerned after seeing the realities of commercial farming
Seven out of ten people (72%) internationally believe that the way factory-farmed pigs are kept is 'upsetting,' 'wrong,' and 'shocking'
89% of U.S. shoppers think that supermarkets have a responsibility to source pork from higher welfare standards, both in the U.S. and abroad
Seven out of ten (70%) U.S. respondents are concerned about the human health impact of the routine use of antibiotics on farm animals.
World Animal Protection CEO Steve McIvor said: "Low-welfare industrial farming conditions for pigs can lead to severe physical pain and psychological distress."
"It doesn't have to be this way. We need to see an end to close confinement and barren environments, so pigs can live in social groups in comfortable environments with opportunities to express natural behavior."
"Supermarkets hold the power to create better lives for pigs. We are encouraging customers of leading supermarkets to let them know they expect higher welfare standards for pork products, with the guarantee that pigs are raised right."
World Animal Protection is working with producers to develop higher welfare systems, enabling pigs to be kept out of cages and in social groups. We are appealing to the public to help drive change by calling on supermarkets to shift to higher welfare standards when sourcing pork.
Steve McIvor continues: "Higher welfare standards are good for animals, good for business, and good for people. Good animal welfare reduces stress, injury and disease, decreasing the use of antibiotics and providing high-quality and safe pork for you and your family."
World Animal Protection is asking the public to sign the organization's petition calling on supermarkets to sell pork from pigs that have been raised right.
Notes to Editors 1. For media interviews, images, or video clips, please contact Carla Pisarro, +1-646-783-2210, [email protected] 2. Four studies were conducted by World Animal Protection between October 2017 and March 2018 covering 11 countries and five continents:
USA: "Pigs and Retailers Strategic Market Assessment"
Australia, Brazil and Thailand: "International Attitudes towards Pig Welfare and Retailer Responsibilities"
Canada, Chile, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden and UK: "Pig Welfare and the Global Consumer"
China: "Awareness and attitudes to pig welfare in China"
ABOUT WORLD ANIMAL PROTECTION World Animal Protection (formerly known as the World Society for the Protection of Animals) has moved the world to protect animals for more than 50 years. World Animal Protection works to give animals a better life. The organization's activities include working with companies to ensure high standards of welfare for the animals in their care; working with governments and other stakeholders to prevent wild animals being cruelly traded, trapped or killed; and saving the lives of animals and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them in disaster situations.
World Animal Protection influences decision-makers to put animals on the global agenda, and inspires people to change animals' lives for the better. More information on World Animal Protection can be found at: www.worldanimalprotection.us.org