British agriculture has among the highest welfare standards in the world, and all livestock farms must comply with comprehensive environmental and animal welfare legislation. A new code of practice for the welfare of pigs has also been published, which sets out the highest standards on how to keep pigs, using the latest scientific and veterinary advice to safeguard and enhance welfare standards. I would urge all farmers and those in the industry to take full heed of it.
The Government is currently examining the evidence around the use of cages for farm animals, and ministers have made clear that their ambition is that farrowing crates should no longer be used for sows. I am pleased to confirm that the UK is already ahead of most pig-producing countries in terms of non-confinement farrowing, with around 40% of our pigs housed outside and not farrowed with crates.
Our country’s high animal welfare standards are something to be proud of, and will continuously be maintained and improved. However, if an animal’s welfare is compromised, I would urge anyone with information to report the matter to the authorities or the RSPCA.