Consumers should boycott pork as most pigs die in terror and pain gasping for breath. Slaughterhouse pigs suffer before death. Millions of pigs suffer poor welfare at slaughterhouses. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report that almost 90% of the 9 million pigs slaughtered in Britain annually are killed in gas chambers. They are exposed to high concentrations of carbon dioxide. This suffocates them. They suffer for up to a minute. They squeal and struggle to escape, lose consciousness and die.
The problem has been around for 20 years. Let’s remind ourselves that pigs are the most intelligent domestic animals. They are more trainable than dogs or cats. There is a misconception about pigs. They don’t sweat and therefore they roll in mud to cool themselves but they are clean and smart. Their mucky appearance gives them an undeserved reputation.
Scientist said as long ago as 1996 that pigs slaughtered by carbon dioxide poisoning experience profound aversion and “severe respiratory distress”. People don’t euthanise cats and dogs at shelters with carbon dioxide. It is known to be highly distressing. These are gas chambers. For an animal advocate it is barbaric.
In 2003 it was considered unacceptable and it should have been phased out from that point onwards. This was decided by the Farm Animal Welfare Council an independent body advising the government.
No progress has been made in eradicating this inhumane practice. It’s on the increase with a 86% of UK pigs slaughtered with carbon dioxide poisoning.
When they enter the gas chamber they hyperventilate and struggle to escape. As mentioned, pigs are intelligent and therefore capable of pain and distress. It’s time for humans to behave humanely. It isn’t just the gas chambers. They are stunned with electricity. This also has welfare problems.
Peter Stevenson, writing in The Times says that the industry, in failing to invest in finding a humane alternative has forfeited its licence to operate.
Compassion in World Farming is asking consumers to stop buying pork. They want shoppers to buy other meats or reduce or even eliminate meat from their menu. They can do this until the pork industry puts its house in order.
The government is culpable in failing to force change. Government spokespeople say that Britain has the highest animal welfare standards in the world. That may be the case but it doesn’t apply to the killing of pigs consumption. Arguably Britain is not the best in the world regarding animal welfare. The country has fallen behind. We should be banning farrowing crates, enriched cages and the killing of day-old chicks.
It’s time to recognise animals as fellow creatures capable of feeling pain and distress, joy and happiness. They provide us with food but we must treat them with respect.