PIG TOYS FOR BARNYARD FANS
The Times of London reports today* that a directive from Brussels has come down ordering all members of the European Union to give toys to pigs. This includes farmers in England who must comply by next week or be fined 1,000 pounds and jailed for three months. It makes a person wonder if the pigs from Animal Farm have been reincarnated in the form of the dictators in Europe.
Here's an excerpt from Chapter VIII, Animal Farm, describing Napoleon, the head pig who plays Stalin, basking in the warmth of the barn-animals' praise:
"...Napoleon was now never spoken of simply as ‘Napoleon.’ He was always referred to in formal style as ‘our Leader, Comrade Napoleon,’ and the pigs liked to invent for him such titles as Father of All Animals, Terror of Mankind, Protector of the Sheep-fold, Ducklings' Friend, and the like. In his speeches, Squealer would talk with the tears rolling down his cheeks of Napoleon's wisdom the goodness of his heart, and the deep love he bore to all animals everywhere, even and especially the unhappy animals who still lived in ignorance and slavery on other farms... The general feeling on the farm was well expressed in a poem entitled Comrade Napoleon:
Friend of fatherless!
Fountain of happiness!
Lord of the swill-bucket!
Oh, how my soul is on
Fire when I gaze at thy
Calm and commanding eye,
Like the sun in the sky,
Thou are the giver of
All that thy creatures love,
Full belly twice a day,
clean straw to roll upon;
Every beast great or small
Sleeps at peace in his stall,
Thou watchest over all,
Had I a sucking-pig,
Ere he had grown as big
Even as a pint bottle or as a rolling-pin,
He should have learned to be
Faithful and true to thee,
Yes, his first squeak should be
Napoleon approved of this poem and caused it to be inscribed on the wall of the big barn, at the opposite end from the Seven Commandments. It was surmounted by a portrait of Napoleon, in profile, executed by Squealer in white paint." ~ end quoting
*Here's the article:
London Times, Jan 29, 2003
Why all our pigs are having a ball
By Valerie Elliott, Countryside Editor
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.”
He added that hanging chains were also good, since pigs could brush their noses against them. The Government is not ready to recommend specific toys, however, because they know of no firm manufacturing playthings for pigs.
But farmers should be careful about scoffing at the idea: they could be fined up to £1,000 or jailed for three months if they fail to amuse their stock. And Neville Meeker, who farms near Warminster in Wiltshire, was told by a farm standards official last week that he will lose the right to use the red tractor farm logo to market his pork if he does not buy a toy for each of 64 sties.
Mr Meeker, who has 1,200 pigs, said: “I have a note here which says toys must be placed in the sties. I haven’t a clue what it means.” Yesterday he tried out a plastic aeroplane and a grey furry teddy bear. They seemed to please a small group of piglets, but he was less enthusiastic: “These toys won’t last two minutes. We’ve got to give them something that is hard-wearing. It has to be durable enough to withstand chewing for at least six months and we can’t use wood because that will cause splinter injuries and pieces could get caught in pigs’ throats.”
He is also worried about the safety aspect of having toys scattered on pen floors.
He said: “I can’t have chains because the roof of the unit is not strong enough. Pigs would just pull it down. Sadly I don’t have an old beam. I suppose I will just have to buy some balls.”
In a letter to Farmers’ Weekly he complains: “Yes, the day of the toy inspector has arrived, and it is not a TV spoof. It is the dictators of Europe who have thought this up. Good job the January sales are on. Hamleys here we come.”
He was worried, too, that he needed just one toy for every sty with 20 pigs. “Will this cause fighting? I remember how children react.”
Mark White, past president of the Pig Veterinary Society, said: “Pigs have a habit of chewing each other and they do it in all environments and especially go for pigs’ tails and ears. Animal welfarists have been arguing that we should not dock tails of pigs. Some believe it is unnecessary mutilation for aesthetic and not for medical reasons. They think if we provide pigs with things to relieve their boredom then they will not chew each other.”
He suggested softwood logs, ships’ buoys and plastic piping.
PIG TOY TALE ANTI-EUROPE (reader snoutingly points out that 'pig toy' is anti-EU rubbish & 'environmentally enriching manipulable material' includes straw, hay OR footballs & £2,500 fine, NOT jail). CNN, Apr 13, 2004. Go to 18.Newspeak & 22.Doublethink & ANIMAL FARM
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