Pig welfare in Brazil to be overhauled by Europe’s biggest retailer

The Brazilian branch of Europe’s biggest retailer, Carrefour, has announced that all own-brand pork products will come from producers who commit to ending the painful castration of male piglets by 2025.

Carrefour Brasil is one of the biggest supermarket chains in Brazil, a nation that is among the largest meat eaters in the world.[1] The move will make them the first supermarket in Brazil to commit to such changes.

The move from Carrefour Brasil follows talks with International NGO, World Animal Protection. In November 2018, the charity presented Carrefour Brasil with a 92,000-signature petition, asking them to commit to high animal welfare standards. Since then, the charity has been providing technical support to the retailer.

The commitment includes:

  • By December 2022, 100% of pregnant pigs will be transitioned to group gestation, allowing 28 days maximum in cages;
  • By December 2022, pig’s ear notching will be abolished;
  • By December 2025, surgical castration will be abolished and immunocastration will be adopted; and
  • On a permanent basis, teeth clipping/grinding will occur only in cases of extreme necessity, when aggressive behaviour between piglets is verified, and environmental enrichment will be provided for all production stages.

Lucio Vicente, head of sustainability at Carrefour Brasil, said: “The concern with animal welfare is a global trend and we are leading this process in Brazil, focusing on the adequacy of our suppliers, always aiming for the improvement of good animal management practices.”

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