Thanks to lobbying by WSPA supporters and member society EAST, several Taiwanese government departments have withdrawn their funding from a cruel weight-based competition which involves the severe confinement, force-feeding and public, inhumane slaughter of several hundred pigs every year.
Nearly 23,000 supporters around the world, appalled by the plight of these animals have signed a petition calling for the competition – known as Pigs of God – to be replaced with a contest using artificial pigs made out of flowers.
But until recently the Taiwanese government had been unwilling to intervene in the competitions due to fear of a backlash from the religious groups which see live Pigs of God as a vital part of their tradition.
The pigs involved in the competition suffer greatly. Last year’s ‘winner’ was force-fed for two years until it weighed more than 900kg.
It grew so heavy that it was unable to stand and most probably endured organ damage and painful pressure sores. Finally it was paraded to a temple and publicly slaughtered while fully conscious.
“This withdrawal of government support is a wonderful achievement in our campaign against this unnecessarily cruel competition,” says WSPA farm animal welfare programme officer Hélène O’Donnell.
“We now want to put pressure on the Taiwanese government to take things even further. We want them to enforce legislation introduced last year – following a campaign by EAST and WSPA supporters – which makes the inhumane slaughter of animals a criminal offence. Such enforcement would inevitably lead to the end of real pigs being used in the contest.”
You can help
The battle is nearly won – support for the competition is dwindling amongst the Taiwanese people too. Many temples are celebrating Pigs of God by using pigs made of flowers and sweets instead of live animals.
Please support our campaign and urge the government to use their legislative powers to stop these cruel competitions once and for all.
If you have already signed the petition, please ask your friends and family to join in too.