Paul O’Grady Speaks Out Against Foston Pig Prison Application
For Immediate Release:
31 October 2011
Liane Eltan 0207 357 9229, ext 228; [email protected]
Entertainer extraordinaire Paul O’Grady is known for his dedication to helping animals – so when he heard that South Derbyshire District Council will meet on Tuesday to discuss Midland Pig Producers’ application to build one of the UK’s largest factory pig farms in Foston, he sprang into action. South Derbyshire District Council is a consultee to the final decision. With silence surrounding the application for the last few months, this meeting suggests that a decision may be imminent. In a letter sent today on PETA’s behalf to members of the Derbyshire County Council Planning Committee – who will make the final decision on whether to approve or refuse the application – O’Grady explains that pigs are loyal, intelligent animals who deserve better than to be sentenced to life on a crowded factory farm. O’Grady shares his country home with a beloved pig, Blanche, whose sister, the late Jane, also lived with O’Grady.
“[L]ike the overwhelming majority of the British public, I believe that in the 21st century, it is our duty to treat animals with respect”, writes O’Grady. “Please take a stand against factory farming and the shame this would bring on Foston by rejecting the planning application.”
According to the plans for the massive factory farm, up to 25,000 pigs would be imprisoned in the facility at a time, and 1,000 pigs would be transported to slaughter each week. In addition to the suffering caused by keeping complex, intelligent animals in what will likely be filthy, crowded conditions, the facility could pose real risks to human health and the environment. The building of a farm this big would mean yet more backsliding for farmed-animal welfare in the UK.
O’Grady joins other well-known personalities – including Michael Mansfield QC, Peter Tatchell and The Only Way Is Essex star Lydia Bright and her pig, Mr Darcy – in speaking out against the proposed farm.
Paul O’Grady’s letter to the Derbyshire County Council Planning Committee follows.
To: Planning Committee, Derbyshire County Council
From: Paul O’Grady, c/o PETA UK
Dear Planning Committee,
I hope this message finds all of you well. I am contacting you as a matter of great urgency, as I understand that a South Derbyshire District Council meeting is taking place on Tuesday to discuss the planning application from Midland Pig Producers for a huge factory pig farm in Foston. I would like to join my friends at PETA in registering my opposition.
Most people haven’t spent much time around pigs. I was the same until I welcomed Blanche and her sister, Jane, into my home. They showed me that pigs are fun, loyal, inquisitive and naughty – very much like dogs. In fact, studies have shown that they are actually smarter than dogs and have a level of intelligence similar to that of a 3-year-old human child. Not that I think their worth or treatment should be based simply on how intelligent they are. No, like the overwhelming majority of the British public, I believe that in the 21st century, it is our duty to treat animals with respect, and that certainly doesn’t mean locking up 25,000 of them on a factory farm and depriving them of fresh air, space to roam and everything else that is important to them. Yet this is exactly what you will be condemning them to should this shameful planning application be given the go-ahead.
So whilst South Derbyshire District Council may be meeting on Tuesday to talk about things like “through roads” and “ventilation”, please also spare a thought for the pigs. Do you truly think it is acceptable or even advantageous to the image of Foston to build a massive factory farm just as the public and forward-thinking councils are moving away from these archaic methods of rearing animals? Perhaps you should challenge the owners of Midland Pig Producers, and see if they would be up for living like the pigs they would like to lock away! I bet they wouldn’t like it.
Please take a stand against factory farming and the shame this would bring on Foston by rejecting the planning application.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I can be contacted via PETA’s Yvonne Taylor at [email protected].