Carrefour announces pig welfare overhaul in Brazil

The Brazilian branch of Europe’s biggest retailer, Carrefour, has announced that all own-brand pork products will come from producers who commit to ending the surgical castration of male piglets by 2025.


The Pig Site

13 January 2020


Carrefour Brasil is one of the biggest supermarket chains in Brazil, a nation that is among the largest meat eaters in the world. The move will make them the first supermarket in Brazil to commit to such changes.


The move from Carrefour Brasil follows talks with International NGO, World Animal Protection. In November 2018, the charity presented Carrefour Brasil with a 92,000-signature petition, asking them to commit to high animal welfare standards. Since then, the charity has been providing technical support to the retailer.


The commitment also includes:


·         By December 2022, 100 percent of pregnant pigs will be transitioned to group gestation, allowing 28 days maximum in stalls.

·         By December 2022, pig’s ear notching will be abolished.

·         By December 2025, surgical castration will be abolished and immunocastration will be adopted.

·         On a permanent basis, teeth clipping/grinding will occur only in cases of extreme necessity, when aggressive behaviour between piglets is verified, and environmental enrichment will be provided for all production stages.


Around the world, some 1.2 billion pigs are raised for meat annually and many are subjected to painful castration. The procedure is designed to eliminate the risk that a small portion of meat carries an unsavoury taste associated with male hormones at puberty. However, it is often undertaken without anaesthetic and is acutely painful, resulting in extreme distress and fear, and can also lead to antibiotic overuse on farms.


Lucio Vicente, Head of Sustainability for Carrefour Brasil said:


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