RSPCA: Survey Reveals Pig Ignorance.

UK - If you didn’t know that chickens communicate using 20 different types of call then you aren’t alone - Freedom Food believes that whilst most people are aware of their own pet’s intelligence, they haven’t really got a clue when it comes to farm animals.
calendar icon 25 September 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

A light-hearted Freedom Food survey carried out on RSPCA Online to mark Farm Animal Week (24-30 September) showed a clear lack of knowledge about farm animals. A staggering 88 per cent of people didn't think pigs were intelligent, when in fact some tests show they are smarter than dogs. So the term 'pig ignorance' couldn't be further from the truth!

Dr Julia Wrathall, head of the RSPCA's farm animals department, said: "An overwhelming number of people doubted pigs' intelligence, yet they are as trainable as dogs and, in many ways, smarter."

Consumer attitude

It seems farmers agree. An independent survey of 247 British farmers - carried out by Agrifocus Ltd for Freedom Food - suggests a change in consumer attitude to farming could make a real difference to their livelihood. The survey showed that 65 per cent think consumers are poorly informed about farming; and nearly 80 per cent believe their jobs would be easier if people knew more.

When asked to predict the status of UK farming in 10 years, over a third of the farmers agreed that food will mainly be imported and the UK agricultural industry will be drastically reduced.

"It's common sense that the more people know about farm animals, the more they will care. But what many don't realise is the link between what they buy and how farm animals are looked after," said Freedom Food's marketing manager Amanda Miles.

Welfare standards

"Consumers have the power to change the way farm animals are reared - and the future of farming - simply by the food choices they make. If more people choose products like Freedom Food, more animals will be reared to higher welfare standards and in turn, farmers will be rewarded for their effort and others will be encouraged to follow."

To tackle the issue, during Farm Animal Week Freedom Food is asking shoppers to find out more about farm animals and show they care by choosing higher welfare labelled products. For more information visit

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