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To help maintain high standards of animal welfare on British
pig farms, theNational Pig Association (NPA) is introducing a confidential
reporting service. The service will also protect pig-keepers from bogus claims
byanimal rights activists who periodically attempt to gain unauthorized entry
to pig buildings.
The service places an obligation on everyone employed
on, or visiting, a participating pig unit to immediately report any concern
they may have about any aspect of animal welfare, either directly to a senior
member of staff, or using a confidential hotline.
The service is operated independently by a specialist
provider and is free to farm assured pig-keepers. It will be funded from the
statutory pig levy, which is administered by the British Pig Executive (BPEX),
a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.
British pig industry is globally renowned for its high animal welfare standards
and this new service will help us demonstrate to consumers that our reputation
said NPA chief executive Dr. Zoe Davies.
of our members will want to sign up for the service because they, more than
anyone, want to know if any aspect of their husbandry is falling below
“Importantly, it will help us deal
quickly and responsibly with the claims of animal rights activists who from
time to time trespass on livestock farms. In[the] future, if they see anything
wrong they will be under a moral and contractual obligation to report it
immediately, so that appropriate measures can be taken.”
guarantees caller confidentiality, and can provide translation services for
Eastern European workers on British pig farms. It will also filter out
vexatious calls (if any).
A poster will be prominently displayed on all
participating pig units, giving the hotline number and advising all employees
and visitors: “Whether you are
an employee or a visitor, by entering this site you accept that everything you
see is confidential, except that if you observe any aspect of animal welfare
that causes you concern you must report it immediately to the unit owner or a
senior member of staff or to the confidential reporting service Safecall (where
there is no need to give your name).”
In the event of
being notified of any concerns about a pig unit, NPA will work with BPEX to
determine a proportionate response, which may include asking Assured Food
Standards to carry out a spot check using an independent auditor.