Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Valerie Elliott, the Countryside Editor of the Times (UK) astounds with Why all our pigs are having a ball. (Warning, the Times has a very tedious registration scheme and wants to charge foreign visitors.)
Farmers throughout the country have 90 days to put a toy in every pigsty or face up to three months in jail.

The new ruling from Brussels, which is to become law in Britain next week, is to keep pigs happy and prevent them chewing each other.

Official instructions to farmers are to give pigs "environmental enrichment" by providing "manipulable material", which the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last night defined as balls.

A spokesman said: "We mean footballs and basketballs. Farmers may also need to change the balls so the pigs don’t get tired with the same one. Different colour ones will do. These rules are based on good welfare. We don’t want to come across as the nanny state, but the important thing is to see pigs happy in their environment and they like to forage with their noses."
Don't worry, pal! This goes way beyond nanny state.

I wonder if they have been watching Green Acres reruns?