Monday 14 August 2017

The problem solving pig and the hens who learned by watching TV

Leaving the European Union will be an economic and political catastrophe for the people of the United Kingdom. It will also be a catastrophe for animal welfare in the UK if the legal status of animals is not safeguarded.

For the last 20 years in European Union law animals have been recognised as sentient beings. This law underpins animal welfare in the EU defining animals as......." having the faculty of sensation, and the power to perceive, reason and think." Legal dictionary definition of animal sentience

I have just signed a petition, along with 34,000 other concerned people, calling on the UK government to safeguard the status of animals as sentient beings. You can do the same.......Compassion in World Farming

Happy high welfare pigs
Everyday I work with animals as I have done for over 60 years. during this time I gradually came to the conclusion that farm animals are much more sensitive, intelligent and perceptive than I or anyone else thought and that industrial farming practices are inherently cruel and unethical.

The problem solving pig
Thirty years ago pregnant sows were mostly kept in steel crates on concrete floors for most of the 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days of their pregnancy. This reduced labour costs, enabled the precise feeding of concentrated rations and was unbelievably cruel. The practice is now banned thanks to EU wide legislation.

Sometime in the 1990 s I came across a video of a very intelligent pig solving a problem. The video showed pregnant sows in a yard littered with straw and fed by a computer controlled dispenser. The dispenser was activated by a transponder around each sow's neck. It doled out a prescribed amont of feed in every 24 hr period. Labour costs were low, feeding was precise and it was high welfare.

One sow however found a transponder which had fallen off another pig. She picked it up and carried it to the computer to get second helpings. How reasoning, intelligent and sentient is that?

Hens can learn by watching TV

Another video shows a pen of hens feeding from red plastic bowls, these birds feeding were being displayed on a TV screen visible to another group of hens. The researchers then placed different coloured bowls  of food including a red one, in the pen of the TV watching hens. The TV audience went straight for the red bowls. They had learned something to their advantage by watching TV, this is highly intelligent  learning behaviour.

Please support the petition Sign the petition

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