My Pigs – welfare
All the pigs are free range and live outdoors all their lives so they have a happy life being able to access grass and roots and do what pigs do best rooting around for tasty things to eat.
Our pigs are free range and live outside all year round only 4% of pigs raised in the UK are truly free range outdoor pigs. On commercial operations even pigs initially raised outdoors are bought back inside to finish before slaughter.
RSPCA’s “Freedom Foods” assurance scheme which is based on five freedoms:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom form discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease
- Freedom to express normal behaviour
- Freedom from fear and distress.
We do not put nose rings on our pigs; they are free to root up the ground which they do sometimes it looks like they are digging a tunnel to Australia! Pigs naturally root and forage for food.
They do not have their tails docked, this procedure has been done on commercial rearing but it is to prevent tail biting, however, this occurs when pigs are bored or kept confined so pigs allowed to roam at will with the freedom to behave naturally tend not to bite each other tails, they have more interesting things to do.
They do not have their teeth clipped or ground a painful procedure and stressful.
We don’t castrate the boar piglets as boar taint of meat is not something that traditional breeds in as stress free environment suffer from.
The pigs are free range and live outside their whole life only about 3% of pigs born on “free range” farms actually are free range all their life. Happy stress free pigs produce the best meat and we make sure that when the pigs go to slaughter this is a stress free as possible. We use Langford Meats abattoir which is small abattoir run alongside the: Langford Vets school outside Bristol which is about ½ an hour away.
Langford in Somerset has been at the centre of UK meat science and research for forty years, with expertise in areas as diverse as animal production and muscle structure, refrigeration and microbiology and working on the problems of animal production and welfare, food safety and meat quality. The Langford abattoir operates with this valuable scientific back-up to ensure that the welfare of the animals we take to slaughter is respected They take great care with the animals and have been trained to a very high standard and this all has a bearing on the quality of the meat produced.