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Anger over basic pig breeding for slaughter UK News

Thousands of people have signed a petition against a primary school project that includes pig breeding pupils for possible slaughter.

The Farsley Farfield Elementary School project in West Yorkshire was launched last year to help teach their pupils where their food came from.

But a petition initiated by a former student says that such a project could be "traumatic" for children and was "unfair" for religious families who do not specifically eat pork.

This claimed that children would learn that it is acceptable to "exploit and kill animals" and it would be justified because "people enjoy their bodies".

Since then, more than 2,000 people have signed a petition launched in October.

Pupils will be allowed to beat pigs during breeding, but they know they are not pets
Pig project has provoked controversy

However, headmaster Peter Harris told Sky News that he had received "tremendous support" for the project, and that he believed that none of the petition signatures was from people in his school community.

"Pigs will have a much better life, in better conditions than commercial pigs," he said.

"Kids know pigs aren't pets and don't have names."

To confirm that the Gloucester Old Spot breeds will be sent for slaughter later in the summer, he added, "The decision on how the meat will be sold has not yet been made, but it will not be in school meals."

The school also follows the specific instructions of Muslim families with the children they attend, with participation from "no at all to almost full engagement".

Some vegetarians are also involved.

The school says pigs will be twice as durable as commercial breeds
The school says pigs will be twice as durable as commercial breeds

The Food for Life program, a program supporting positive food culture in schools, told Sky News that it was a "fully supportive" project and said "animal welfare experience" was "even more valuable".

Policy Director Rob Percival said, "Most of us eat meat from animal products, so it's a good idea for children to learn how this meat is made and what it takes to put on our plates."

Mr Percival also underlined how the project could help children engage in a broader conversation about the impact of "excessive meat consumption" on climate change.

He said: "Schools play an important role in encouraging this shift, including introducing more plant proteins into their offerings and making meat-free days, while ensuring that meat is more prosperous and, if possible, more sustainable."

The pigs were not named and reminded the pupils that they were not pets
Pigs have not been named, reminding pupils that they are not pets

In response to the petition, contemporary Farsley Farfield student, 11-year-old Charlotte Heapp, upheld her school in a letter to Yorkshire Evening Post, saying the project taught her "Respect Meat and Animals".

"We know that not all animals behave well, but we all want it to change," she wrote.

"By taking a few pigs and letting them have a free, open life before they die, we begin to make a difference."

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