Leeds primary school's pigs slaughtered despite protests from animal rights activists

Two pigs taken in by a Leeds primary school to teach children about animal welfare have been sent off for slaughter.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 12:13 pm
Tributes left to the pigs briefly appeared outside the school gates.
Tributes left to the pigs briefly appeared outside the school gates.

The educational project was created to teach pupils at Farsley Farfield primary about where food comes from and the impact of meat on the environment.

-> Petition set up over plans to slaughter Leeds school farm pigs to teach kids about animal welfareBut the project attracted anger from animal rights activists, who said it was teaching children that it is 'okay to exploit and kill animals'.

The pigs were not given names.

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A petition, set up by a former pupil, calling on headteacher Peter Harris to let the pigs live, was signed by almost 7,000 people.

Mr Harris said the school community had sometimes felt intimated by the protesters, adding that they were unsure whether the project would be repeated.

The plan had been to give the meat from the pigs back to school families, but Mr Harris said they had not done this so as not to further anger protesters.

No complaints from parents at the school were actually made to Mr Harris.

-> Warning to owners after hundreds of dogs stolen in Leeds - and 96% are never found again, new figures revealThe pigs, a pair of Gloucester Old Spots, left the school last Friday and were slaughtered later that day.

A shrine appeared outside the school gates over the weekend, but it was quickly removed.

Flowers were left at the school gates, with the message 'The nameless pigs slaughtered 21-06-19. RIP'.

One activist, Marie Youngs, wrote on Facebook: "We are all heartbroken that all of our attempts failed to save the pigs.

"However, they will live on in our hearts, and in our activism, as we continue to fight for animal liberation and an end to speciesism."

Mr Harris said: "The pigs had twice as long a life as most commercial pigs and had a healthy, free range outdoor life at school.

"The school community has been overwhelmingly supportive of our farm project and have, at times, felt intimidated by some protesters and the messages that they have left."

He added: "It is a shame that some of the educational messages of this project - that the welfare provenance of meat is important and that the climate emergency means that meat consumption should be reduced - has been somewhat lost in the furore caused by a small minority from outside our school community.

-> The top 9 areas where Leeds council made the most from littering fines"We have discussed these issues in assemblies over the past week and some valuable learning has taken place.

"Our children are very interested in, and relatively well-informed about, issues around food, health and sustainability and this is reflective of our broad award-winning curriculum.

"The governors have decided that we will now have a time for reflection and further consultation before deciding whether we will repeat the project next year."