Suffolk

Primary school children rear pigs to send to butcher

  • 12 February 2013
  • From the section Suffolk
The three pigs to be reared by Peasenhall Primary School pupils
The pigs were born on a farm in nearby Sibton

Primary school children in Suffolk are rearing three pigs to be killed for meat, to teach them the "provenance of food".

The piglets are being raised by the 25 pupils at Peasenhall Primary School, near Saxmundham.

Teacher Sarah Brown says the children will look after the pigs before sending them to a local butcher.

"We've discussed that we're going to feel very sad," she said. "But they've all said 'we like eating sausages'."

The pigs, which are a cross of black and Gloucestershire old spots, were born on a farm in nearby Sibton and will be delivered to the school next week.

'Education enriched'

The pupils, who are as young as four, will be involved in "every stage" of the pigs' journey to the plate, from making a home for the pigs to marketing the meat.

"They will be involved in designing labels and thinking about how we could sell them, including the posters and pricing," Mrs Brown said. "The older children will be involved in creating recipes.

"Their education is being enriched by that. It's not just their maths and English, it's their personal and social education."

The mother of the piglets
The pigs are a cross of black and Gloucestershire old spot

"For many of them this will be the first time they've had an animal and know it's going to go on and be slaughtered," she said.

The scheme is said to have received the backing of the majority of the parents, who have been placed on a rota to feed the pigs at weekends.

The pupils say they are aware of what will happen to the pigs.

Frank Platt, 6, said they had to be killed "so the humans stay alive for longer".

Molly Milburn, 5, said: "We want some sausages at this school."

The Vegetarian Society said it was good to show the connection between animals being killed and food production, but said the school was giving the children an "idealised version of how food gets to their plates".

"Just because your food has been given a name and been kept well, the animal is still being killed at the end," a spokesperson said.

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