For decades, the European Union has had some of the highest standards of pig farming.1 Welfare and living conditions that are as close as possible to natural ones, as well as appropriate transport, ensure that the animals are calm and minimise their stress, which has a significant impact on the quality of the end products. Learn more about the high standards of organic pig farming in the EU!
What does welfare mean in the context of pigs? Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that animals are sentient beings.2 According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, "animal welfare means healthy, well-nourished animals living free of pain and suffering, while being to express their innate (natural) behaviour and does not experience discomfort, pain, fear and distress".
One of the most important aspects of organic pig farming is the type of feed. Unlike industrialised animal production, which is geared to maximising profit while keeping costs to a minimum, organic farmers make sure to feed their animals only the highest-quality feed. A single ration of feed is supposed to offer the right amount of energy, as well as micro and macro nutrients, vitamins, protein and amino acids.3 Feeding animals with this kind of feed is hardly cheap; however, it is required to provide them with the right nutrients to develop and grow.
Livestock farmers need to take into account the needs of animals in terms of area. Overgrazing and churning dirt by soil should be avoided, as it causes accelerated soil erosion and can consequently have an adverse effect on the environment. The location of farm buildings isalso important – buildings should be located at an appropriate distance from the forest and other livestock farming areas to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases between animals. In addition, the pig paddock cannot be too muddy to keep the animals comfortable.4
Ensuring the welfare throughout the life of the animal is key, as it makes organic farming more ethical compared to industrialised farming, where animals often suffer and are subjected to tremendous stress. At the same time, it is definitely more environmentally friendly, which also contributes to the preservation of our environment. Choose organic products from the European Union and help the environment together with us!