A primary school has sparked outrage after revealing plans to slaughter their pet pigs to teach pupils about the food chain.

The farmyard animals, who have been reared and doted upon by adoring students as young as four at Farsley Farfield Primary in Leeds, West Yorkshire, will soon be turned into meat products, reports Daily Mail.

Brainchild of the scheme, headteacher Peter Harris, said that his pupils will be ‘more knowledgeable and sensitive to animal welfare’ as a result of the plan.

In a blog post on the school’s website Mr Harris said: ‘Through keeping the pigs the children will learn more about the provenance of their food and issues around animal welfare.

‘I think that we are raising awareness of the meat industry, and some of the issues around animal welfare and sustainability.

‘The pigs will live twice as long as commercial pigs and appear to be enjoying their outdoor life with plenty of opportunity to root around.

‘Their welfare standards are much higher than most pigs.

‘I don’t think that we are desensitising the children, I suggest that our children will be more knowledgeable and sensitive to animal welfare than most of their peers.’

Mr Harris described the school farm as a ‘tremendous long-term success’ that gives pupils a ‘better understanding’ of where their food comes from.

He added: ‘A key element of this project is to discuss the need to reduce meat consumption.’

However not everyone is impressed.

An outraged former student formed an online petition, which has already gathered almost 2,000 signatures, to stop the proposed plans.

Writing online, Ms Willow said: ‘My main concerns are with the well being of these pigs… and the message that we will be teaching the children at Farsley Farfield that it is okay to exploit and kill animals with the only justification being that people enjoy eating their bodies.

‘Pigs are as intelligent as dogs and at least as smart as a three-year-old human child.

‘They are friendly animals that can live for about 12 years or so.

‘Schools have a duty of care to support children, teach them fair values and to provide a safe and happy environment for them.

‘By teaching children that it is okay to exploit and kill animals they are in breach of this, and this could also be traumatising for children getting to know the animals and then knowing they are going to die.’

Do you think this is taking teaching kids about the food chain too far?

Share your comments below


  • I hope they have received appropriate advice from experts but aside from this, it is educational people eat meat and it comes from animals.

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  • Poor wee animals. That’s exactly why I don’t eat meat since I was around 11yrs old. And aw what a drama it was to get that accepted by my family back then. It was so not done at that time.

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  • I think this would definitely turn my youngest child into a vegetarian. He loves animals and already is starting to be put off chicken, (he already hates red meat) and he’s only 9!

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  • I think the school is behaving responsibly and showing the connection between animals and where the meat we all eat comes from. Farmers do this for you out of your sight, but it still happens.

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  • There has certainly been a disconnect between the animal and eating the food from the supermarket. So I think it’s a good idea. This is the age where children are impressionable.

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  • Might turn them into vegans once they know the truth.

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  • I dun think its appropriate to do this at school. Yes we all eat meat but with the kids involved to look after them seeing them everyday its not right. Me myself wont eat my chickens even though i keep them for eggs.


    • No we don’t all eat meat. Many of us are vegetarian or vegan

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  • I don’t think it’s right when the children helped to rear these pigs. Will be too traumatising for the young ones.

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  • I am really struggling with this myself at the moment. I do enjoy eating meat, but I find myself deeply saddened when I think of the suffering of animals so I can enjoy meat. Especially when you read that pigs are as intelligent as a 3 year old child. How awful if these animals are in slaughter yards…….KNOWING they’re going to die. Just terrifying. I am slowly eating less meat and hope to eventually be meat free

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  • Definitely not, what a horrible idea. A pet is to be looked after and loved. Not teaching the kids anything by traumatizing them.

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  • Completely messed up. They’re pets. I imagine a lot of children would be traumatised by this

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  • No – it is never too early for children to know where there food comes from. All meats have to be slaughtered and milk doesn’t come from supermarket shelves.

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  • Not the brightest idea considering it’s a pet and they are primary school children.
    Leave agriculture for high school

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  • Not sure I like this idea .. especially with kids so young

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  • It was always hard to see the animals we raised being killed for the table. I do not think this should be taught at school though to young children.

    Reply

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