Pigs have personalities and can be pessimists or optimists, much like humans, new research has suggested.
Scientists at the University of Lincoln tested 36 animals, offering them bowls containing chocolate or less appealing coffee beans in two fixed locations.
Pigs were considered optimists if they investigated a third bowl, placed in the middle of the two bowls, even though it might not contain treats.
Dr Lisa Collins said it suggested the judgment of pigs was similar to humans.
The research, which has been published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, saw some pigs treated to improved living conditions with more living space and extra-deep layers of straw.
The other animals, with less space and no straw, tended to be negative and pessimistic, the research suggested.
They were, however, found to have been cheered up by an improvement in their living conditions.
Dr Collins, from the University of Lincoln, and colleagues wrote: “Reactive pigs in the less enriched environment were more pessimistic and those in the more enriched environment more optimistic.
“These results suggest that judgment in non-human animals is similar to humans, incorporating aspects of stable personality traits and more transient mood states.”
Article taken from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37996361
A pig factory is set to be built Northern Ireland with over 30,000 pigs.
If given the go ahead, this pig factory will set a dangerous precedent for the increased intensification of pig farming in the UK. Help the local people stop Newtownabbey pig factory by objecting now.
Hall’s Pig Farms have submitted a planning application for a 30,000-pig animal factory.
The plans include a ‘weaner house’ for 11,760 newly-weaned young piglets, and three ‘fattener houses’, each holding 6,160 pigs. Also on site would be an anaerobic digester for treating slurry and a lagoon for holding processed waste. Hall’s currently supplies Sainsbury’s and is part of its Pork Development Group.
Local residents are concerned about the impacts of the proposed development on human health and the environment.
Campaign spokesperson Norman Kerr says: “We are seriously concerned about the impact the proposed farm will have on the area. That many pigs will need a lot of feeding and produce a lot of waste, not to mention all the other risks associated with mass production farming. There’s also the very real risk of waste leaking into local waterways and polluting the environment, and the extra traffic this farm will bring to a quiet, rural area. The size and scale of this proposal is way beyond farming!”
Concerns about environmental issues with the proposed pig factory are not unfounded. In June 2012, Derek Hall of Hall’s Pig Farms (the site developer) was fined £500 at Belfast Magistrates Court “for making a polluting discharge to a waterway and…for contravention of a Pollution Prevention and Control permit condition”.
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Hall’s Pig Farm in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is currently seeking permission to build a giant factory farm that will incarcerate more than 30,000 pigs in crowded conditions at any one time. The planned development would be even larger than the proposed Foston mega pig farm in Derbyshire, which was defeated earlier this year, making it the largest factory farm in the UK.
Whilst no form of animal farming can be justified, this development is particularly appalling and, if approved, would set a dangerous precedent for further intensification of animal farming in the UK.
But time is short! The window for objecting to the plans closes on Friday 5th June. Please help Animal Aid to stop this industrial-scale pig prison by submitting your own objection.
Please note that whilst the impact of this development on the pigs is of course the primary concern, animal welfare is often not considered in planning objections. So although it is important to mention it, please also include other points such as environmental pollution, risk to human health, increased traffic, noise etc.
To send a personalised message to the planning officer at Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, please click here: http://www.e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1825&ea.campaign.id=39216&ea.tracking.id=facebook