Germany used to be the largest pork producer in the EU, but has lost China as a customer after the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in wild boars.
Germany is one of the largest meat exporters in the world.
So far, 56% of EU pig product sales have gone to China, making the country the largest export customer, according to data from the European Commission.
The EU shipped 3.3 billion kilograms of pork to China last year, almost three times as much as in 2018.
China’s desire for imported pork rose after its own ASF outbreak that killed more than 100 million pigs.
“The fact that China has been affected by African swine fever in recent years has made demand soar, “said Ramon Soler Ciurana, export manager at Faccsa-Prolongo, a Spanish pork producer in Málaga.
Spain produced 2.6 billion kilograms of pork in the first half of 2021, 4.1% more than in the same period last year, according to the European Commission.
German slaughterhouse in Spain
Since there are less strict animal welfare regulations in Spain than in Germany, Tönnies, Germany’s largest slaughterhouse, is building a pig slaughterhouse and a meat packaging plant in Calamocha in Spain.
According to Tönnies, the stricter animal welfare and environmental regulations in Germany have contributed to the decline in pig farming (!!!).
“Even if German farmers want to invest in new pigsties, they often do not get a building permit from the local authorities,” said Andre Vielstädte, a spokesman for Tönnies.
The new Tönnies slaughterhouse is scheduled to go into operation in Spain in 2023 and kill 10,000 pigs a day.
“The Spanish pig market is attractive, and the political framework conditions are positive,” said Andre Vielstädte
“Our new Spanish plant will be exclusively intended for export to markets such as pork ribs to North America, pork bellies to Japan and other products such as pork feet and ears to China and other Asian countries,” said Vielstädte.
He described the German animal welfare regulations as “one-sided” because other European countries do not demand the same from farmers, so that it is cheaper and easier to invest in pig farming in Spain than in Germany.
China’s pork import
African swine fever is a contagious viral disease in domestic pigs and wild pigs. The disease can be fatal, but the animals can also recover from it.
So far, authorities around the world are killing entire pig populations when African swine fever is detected.
China has reported ASF outbreaks again this year, including in three of the five largest pork production areas, Henan, Sichuan and Shandong, which means it will continue to look to other countries to import pork.
And the European governments are excited about the pig trade agreements they are entering into with China. Ireland recently proudly announced that it will be sending live breeding pigs to China.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service said earlier this year that China will import a total of 5.1 billion kilograms of pork in 2022.
In 2020, 5.3 billion kilograms (11.7 billion pounds) of pork were imported.
Industrial agriculture and climate change
The report Food system impacts on biodiversity loss, published in February by the British political institute Chatham House, explains how industrial animal husbandry is destroying nature and contributing to species extinction.
The paper contains three recommendations for policy makers: promoting a more plant-based diet, providing arable land for nature and converting to an ecological and sustainable agriculture with respect for nature and animals.
The study states that future international conferences on food systems, climate change, biodiversity and health care need policy makers to focus on all three recommendations.
The largest upcoming climate conference, COP26, is taking place in the first two weeks of November in Glasgow, where animal welfare organizations and animal politicians hope that industrial animal husbandry will be part of the discussions on climate change.
And I mean…In 2018 Germany produced 8 million tons of meat! Business is booming!
Pig fattening means: the animals give birth to more piglets than the sows have teats.
The bigger and bigger sows have to spend half of their lives in crates that are far too narrow, cooped up behind bars that they often gnaw at.
Cutting off the tails is also common practice
The dimensions of the pens are such that the sows kept in them can only take one step forward and one step back.
Surplus or too small and weak piglets are simply beaten to death on the wall of the barn. In the first few days, the curly tails of almost all piglets are shortened and the canines are ground off.
After about six weeks they come to the fattening.
If factory farming works like this and pigs are “produced” like this and kept until the bitter end like this, where is the high animal welfare standard in Germany ???
What pictures does a meat eater know of pig farming?
The ones from the advertising?
From the secretly undercover recordings of animal rights activists?
Or from the fraudulent labels on the steak packaging?
How does a meat eater come up with the idea that the piece of pork on his plate had a “nice” life?
The average meat consumer imagines a natural product under a piece of meat.
But of the 60 million pigs that are slaughtered in Germany every year, only about one percent comes from organic, species-appropriate husbandry, the rest are born and die in the barracks- in most countries is no different
Only when the undercover animal rights activist goes into such a stable and shows how the pigs are kept in dirty, overcrowded camps, injured, with abscesses, sick … how they are pushed into the execution chambers with electric shocks or iron bars … only then learns the public that there is systematic torture in our stables.
We don’t have to point the finger at China.
In our stables it stinks to heaven too
My best regards to all, Venus