Dogs in Cages
Bord Bia are currently filling our airwaves with ads encouraging us to buy and eat Irish Pork. Their quality assurance scheme ensures that “farmers are audited against a range of standards including animal health; welfare and traceability; water and feed……” All of this serves to ensure that the Irish public knows thinks that the animal they are eating has led a reasonable life and has suffered as little as possible.
I think everybody is aware of the plight of the intensively reared chicken. Most supermarkets and good butchers now stock a good range of free range or organic birds and people are slowly deciding against supporting the horrendous conditions standard, commercial birds are kept in. Few people seem to know or care about the conditions that our pot-bellied friends are kept in. According to a 2010 Compassion In World Farming report: “The pig industry in the Republic of Ireland is highly intensive, with the vast majority of pigs reared on factory farms. In these, pigs are kept inside large sheds with no access to outdoors, and conditions are often crowded and barren.” “Farrowing crates are very commonly used in Ireland and in other countries. The sow is moved to a farrowing crate just before she is due to give birth. She stays there until her piglets are taken away when they are about four weeks old. The farrowing crate is narrow and it is difficult for the sow to stand up or lie down; turning around is impossible” “Many farms in the Republic of Ireland, and in other EU countries, are failing to provide effective enrichment material for fattening pigs” “Although EU law prohibits routine tail docking, 95% to 99% of pigs in the Republic of Ireland are tail docked“
I find it quite surprising that people accept this treatment of an animal that, many experts now agree, is more intelligent than the beloved dog that currently sits by your side. I know if any of us were treating our canine friends the same as pigs it wouldn’t be long before the ISPCA would be knocking on our door, and rightly so.
Free Range or Organic Pork is difficult to find in Ireland but even by just asking for it, it gets into the mind of our great butchers and supermarkets. Baby steps like this could lead to a brighter future for our bacon.
If there is a supplier of free range pork near you, leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll include them in a future page of my favourite suppliers.