Pigs will have a healthier and happier life under proposals announced yesterday (Tuesday) by the European Commission to improve their living conditions. The reforms, which will have to be agreed by member governments, are an attempt to erase the excesses of intensive pig farming which the Commission says have given the sector a bad name in the past ten years. The reforms are comprehensive but will not come into effect until 2012 and farmers will be able to claim cash to re-build premises. Some member countries – the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Sweden – are already ahead of the game, having national legislation for pig welfare that goes beyond present EU requirements.

By Alan Osborn, just-food.com correspondent