Bompieri kennels says no to pigs in cages

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Bompieri, one of Italy’s largest pig farmers, says no to cages for sows during gestation and birth. The system defined as highly negative for animal welfare by EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, is still permitted by law for the first month of pregnancy and for the entire duration of the breastfeeding period. Bompieri thus becomes the first producer in Italy to join one of the requests of the SOS Pig campaign carried out by the È Animali association.

Some time ago the company ended up at the center of complaints from some animal rights associations for cruelty and mistreatment of animals. Today, however, Bompieri formally undertakes to remove the gestation and lactation cages in all the group’s sow farms by 31 December 2026. The farrowing pens built to house the sows during lactation will have a surface area of ​​at least 7 square meters and they will also be equipped with a “nest area” to protect the well-being of the piglets, with anti-crushing devices. With respect to the requests of the SOS Pig campaign, Bompieri has also undertaken to develop a plan for monitoring and reducing the use of antibiotics, after having already abandoned tail docking in all its farms and the filing and cutting of of teeth in piglets.

According to data from the latest Eurobarometer, 91% of Italians say they are in favor of the introduction of the ban on cage farming and ask that products with the highest animal welfare parameters be highlighted on food labels. In 2018, around a hundred animal rights associations across Europe, coordinated by CIWF, joined the “End the cage age” campaign, which collected over 1.4 million signatures to ask the European Union to put an end to the use of any type of cage for animals raised for food purposes. The initiative had first pushed the European Parliament to vote to ask for an end to the use of cages on farms, and then the Commission to commit to presenting a legislative proposal in this sense by the end of 2023. To date, however, no proposal of the law has materialized, since in the meantime the Commission has requested a supplementary evaluation of the funds. Everything, therefore, is postponed to the next legislature.

In the meantime, the associations are carrying on the battle at a national level: «When we talk about changes that can reduce the suffering of pigs in Italian intensive farming, the feasibility and economic sustainability of these interventions is often questioned – claims Elisa Bianco, manager Corporate engagement ofessereanimali -. Yet the example of Bompieri Allevamenti demonstrates that reducing the suffering of sows and pigs is not only possible, but also achievable in a short time and on a large scale in our country. This is an example of how change in the sector can also start from the will of the farmers themselves, especially if they received the necessary support from supermarkets and delicatessen factories, responsible for supporting the correct development of the supply chains and transparently explaining to consumers what they are buying.”

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