Campaign calls for a return to feeding pigs waste

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to re-introduce the feeding of waste to pigs.

The campaign, which has been called The Pig Idea, began today (Wednesday, June 5), part of world environment day. It hopes to encourage farmers about the benefits of feeding pigs surplus food and calls for a change in European law so farmers can return to feeding pigs waste in the long term.

As part of the campaign eight pigs at Stepney City Farm will be reared on safe waste collected from around the London area. The pigs’ food will include spent brewers’ grains, whey and unsold vegetables and bread.

Campaigners claim that as well as cutting down on the amount of food wasted and reducing feed costs, allowing farmers to feed pigs waste will free up food supplies for humans and reduce the need to grow virgin crops for feed.

Tristram Stuart, an author and campaigner on food waste, said: “Humans have been recycling food waste by feeding it to pigs for thousands of years.

“Reviving this tradition will help to protect forests that are being chopped down to grow the millions of tonnes of soya we import from South America every year to feed our livestock.”

Europe currently imports 40m tonnes of soya grown on rainforests each year from Latin America to feed livestock.

Philip Lymbery, chief executive of Compassion in World Farming said: “Recycling properly treated food waste through pigs kept in decent conditions is a common sense way of feeding both pigs and people.”

Readers' comments (3)

  • The banning of feeding swill to pigs was a knee-jerk reaction to the horrors of the 2001 FMD outbreak. A more reasoned approach would have been to 1) prevent FMD infected meat entering the country in the first place. 2) make sure that the regulations governing the treatment of swill before it was fed to pigs were adhered to.
    We can attribute the years when this valuable resource has been discarded as dangerous waste to a lazy and vindictive government.

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  • Unless you can get a consistent supply of product by the truckloads then it is not viable and with the demand for consistency of pig meat from retailers and the vastly superior pig genetics food waste simply isn't consistent enough in its nutrition specifications to be able to satisfy consumer demands.

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  • agree with Pieter this is an economic question and will be regulated by market forces, however there is still no need to ban swill if it can be made save (and in can)
    in the future hopefully there will be less food waste so less supply and to use it for swill the pig industry has to buy-out alternative uses of food waste like AD (anaerobic digestion/ biogas which produces energy and fertiliser). It is questionable swill will be economic with such competition - however still no reason to ban its use...

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