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My Pigs


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Hi,  Sorry if this is not the best place to put this

post, no offence is intended.

I have 3 pigs which I have had for about 16 weeks.  They are reedy for

slaughter but I have a little problem.

I know that in the UK if the beast is killed on your land (bringing in a

butcher) you may not sell the produce to anyone off your land.  If on the

other hand you take them to an abattoir you can distribute the meat elsewhere.

I really don’t want to move the pigs as this will upset them

and potentially damage the meat.

I kill our chickens, geese and lambs but I have a real

problem killing a pig.  They are very

nice creatures and remind me very much of humans in their behaviour…. More some

humans than others.

Can anyone tell me the rules for killing pigs on one’s own

land please?


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We keep pigs for meat and take them to the abbatoir for slaughter.  I can only speak about our abbatoir and our experiences.

Our neighbour takes them to the abbatoir on a monday morning at 8am in his small and very ancient Citroen lorry.  The pigs go into the van quite happily with a little help from a bucket of feed. The journey is about 20 minutes.  They are unloaded by my hubby at the other end and are placed into a holding pen which has fresh straw and water.  The pigs go in quite happily and snuffle about in the straw and by the time my hubby has done the paperwork and gone back to see them they are lying down having a sleep.  There is no squealing, no stress.

The men at the abbatoir are very good, there is no shouting or sticks to move them just a series of gates so that they can only go in one direction and the gates are shut behind them.  All the pigs are seen by the vet on the monday.  On Tuesday morning they are killed.  The neighbour goes down to the abbatoir on Tuesday morning to collect the blood as he makes boudin noir with it and he told us that the workers at the abbatoir love it when our pigs go there as they are so amenable and friendly and just follow the men around and into the killing room with no stress at all.  They are stunned first with electocution and then are bled.

My pigs are raised very humanely and they die humanely.  They have a wonderful, stress free life and in my book if they have a minute of fear at the end then that is a very small price to pay for the lives they have led.  They have never had a minute of fear in their whole lives up to that point.  I dont believe that they do suffer stress at the end as pigs are not like people and have no idea what is going to happen.  Pigs meat that you buy so cheaply in the supermarket has never known anything but stress in its short life and you rarely will find supermarket pork with a tail on the carcass cos the other pigs have eaten it.

I dont want them to be killed at home for a couple of reasons.  I would not be sure that they died a good death ie being stunned first.  Often (not always) with home kill they just stick them and bleed them.  Also there is a lot of guts with a pig and I dont have the means to dispose of it all and also I dont have a facility to deal with it.  I dont have the facility for dipping and scraping the carcess.  I dont have a cold room to hang the carcasses for a few days like they do at the abbatoir and one cannot rely on the weather to be cold enough as sun and flies can appear in January in my experience.

I dont know what your local abbatoir is like or how far you have to go to get them there but I think that sometimes the abbatoir can be better with such a big animal.

It is a personal choice but I honestly would have a look at your local abbatoir and see how it is done and what the people who work there are like.  This is what we did before we took our first pigs there.

The quality of the meat is amazing and the taste is the best you will ever taste.  I think people have forgotten what proper free range, organic pork should taste like. 

Good for you for raising your own pigs and also for taking the time to consider how they are going to die.  I am sure you will make the right decision, one that you can live with and that at the end of the day when you sit down at the table to eat the meat you can thank your pig for giving you this wonderful meal and also feel happy that it had the best possible life and death.

Gail xx

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Gail, that was like reading a page out of River Cottage [:)]

I don't keep livestock but loved the book and the program. I remember Hugh FW sent his pigs away and he made it as stress free as possible for them.

I wish all people kept livestock as well you do.[:D]

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I don't know what the law is, but the vast majority of French people in our area seem to kill their own pigs, and manage to joint them, collect the blood, and clean the insides to make andouillette. Sometimes they use a butcher to do the killing and cutting but many do it themselves.
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Hi we raise pigs in France, got 6 at the moment, and more on the way. We have several choices of slaughter, including the butcher coming round to the house and doing it, the abattoir or taking them to the butchers house...he then keeps all the bits we don't want....

What dept are you in? Have you thought about asking the local farmers if there is pig rearer nearby who could do it for you, or there maybe some small holders who do there own..I can think of four people near me (all french) who slaughter their own pigs, including blood collection for boudin noir.

I think killing the pig yourself may not be an option, since they are large creatures and very intelligent etc...imagine if you messed it up, heaven forbid...I would advise you get some experienced help to show you how to do it the first time and then you do one after with supervision. I have seen photos of a pig being slaughtered and there were four men holding it down, not stressed in anyway i add (all humane and calm), but you don't want it moving.

As for rules, all animals (sheep pigs etc not chickens and the like) should be slaughtered in an abattoir as far as I know, but that rule is widely ignored...don't broadcast what you are doing. If you're selling the meat, there is a chance you need a certificate of health for the pig, before slaughter from a vet.

pm if you are anywhere near my dept 16 and I can put you in touch with a butcher who'll do a home visit.

Good luck and enjoy the meat, it's really satisfying to know where your meat has come from and that it's had a good life. 


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A couple of years ago I had to listen to my French neighbours getting the killing wrong as the slaughterman was too old, weak and incompetent to do the job humanely. Please, please, make sure that if you do decide to do it at home, that the slaughterman is up to the job. My daughters cried for hours even though we had gone out to get away from the noise.
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Tag, don't concern yourself unduly about the fate of the OP's pigs.  I doubt that he actually has any, and he is unlikely to be posting on this forum any more, if you get my drift.

I'll lock this thread now, to save others the effort of replying to an unnecessary question.

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