Learn about pigs

1.4 billion pigs are slaughtered for food annually, with China being the biggest producer.

Even though the intelligence of pigs has been studied and likened to dogs, dolphins and chimpanzees, they are exploited in intensive farming systems which do not allow them to express their natural behaviours. Learn more about pigs in the sections below and visit organisations who work on the welfare of farm animals across Asia.

Pigs in Asia

The last estimate on the number of pigs used in farming in Asia was xxxxx

Pigs in farming

The last estimate on the number of pigs used in farming in Asia was xxxxx

Studies have shown pigs to be smarter than dogs, capable of mourning, problem solving and empathy.  But in spite of their high cognitive capacity, the pig meat industry subjects them to cramped, dark, conditions devoid of the enrichment they need. 

Nursing sows are typically kept in gestation crates, which allow them no room at all to move whilst they suckle their young.

The cramped and unygenic conditions found in many pig farms throughout Asia mean that they are susceptible to disease such as African Swine Fever. Because ASF spreads so quickly through a population and cannot be allowed to enter the human food chain, outbreaks in recent years have lead to highly distressing mass culls, which have seen thousands of pigs being thrown in deep pits with tractors and either buried or burned alive. Totals have numbered in to the millions in national culls. There are currently neither vaccines nor cures for ASF.

For populations who do not contract ASF, they may either live in large, multi-storey "pig hotels", never feeling natural ground beneath them or seeing daylight for their entire lives. Although pigs are naturally lean, they are grossly overfed by humans to make them fat in readiness for slaughter. Pigs are stunned on their way to be slaughtered by having their throats slit, but it has been shown that stunning is not 100% effective, meaning that many pigs will be fully conscious when their throat is slit.


Investigations have shown the presence of  other severely inhumane slaughter methods in Asia such as live blugeoning with a club. Without first being stunned, this is extremely stressful and painful and is typically done in the presence of many other pigs.