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Activists hit out at school’s pig farm project over ‘animal exploitation’

A former pupil at Farsley Farfield Primary said she was concerned over the message that it was okay ‘to exploit and kill animals with the only justification being that people enjoy eating their bodies’.

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Activists hit out at school’s pig farm project over ‘animal exploitation’

A primary school which keeps pigs to teach children about food provenance is fighting a petition from an animal rights campaigner who has accused the headteacher of ’animal exploitation’.

 

Farsley Farfield Primary School set up the project in October 2018 with Gloucester Old Spot pigs which they will keep for nine months before sending to slaughter.

 

Isabella DeMartino, a former pupil at Farsley Farfield Primary and whose mother works at the school, said the pigs did not ‘deserve to die’ and that she was concerned over the message that it was okay ‘to exploit and kill animals with the only justification being that people enjoy eating their bodies’.


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Her online petition has got almost 2,000 signatures.

 

She said: “Schools have a duty of care to support children, teach them fair values and to provide a safe and happy environment for them.

 

“By teaching children that it is okay to exploit and kill animals they are in breach of this, and this could also be traumatising for children getting to know the animals and then knowing they are going to die.”

 

Understanding

The school’s headteacher Peter Harris hit back at the remarks, suggesting the pigs would encourage the children to learn about animal welfare and sustainability, and to have a ‘much better understanding of where their food comes from’.

 

“The children are all very clear that the animals are not pets,” Mr Harris said. “I do not think that we are desensitising the children: I suggest that our children will be more knowledgeable and sensitive to animal welfare than most of their peers.”

The National Pig Association (NPA) said it commended the school for wanting to teach children where their food comes from, adding a first-hand experience of food production would enable them to decide if they did not want to eat meat ‘rather than after reading factually incorrect and misleading vegan propaganda’.

 

NPA policy services officer Lizzie Wilson added: “It is enabling children to make an informed decision, one way or the other. We live in a democracy, not a dictatorship.”

 

It came as a Meat Free Monday poster being circulated in London schools was spreading figures that livestock was responsible for 51 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions – compared to 13 per cent from transport – and that a falafel pitta had only 0.3kg of carbon emissions compared to 2.8kg from a cheeseburger.

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