Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Lymington school pig rearing to return after vegan parent complaint

Pigs at Priestlands School in Lymington in 2008
Image caption The BBC reported on the launch of the scheme at Priestlands School in 2008

Pig rearing is to return to a rural school after parents overwhelmingly backed the scheme axed after a vegan parent complained.

Four pigs being reared for meat at Priestlands School, Lymington, Hampshire, were sent back to their original owner in January.

A survey completed by 1,000 parents revealed 97% were in favour of pig rearing in the school's garden.

Parent Vincent Cook, who complained, is still in talks with the school.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Priestlands School in Lymington had sent the pigs it kept back to the farmer who gifted them

The school, which has kept animals to teach children about farming since 2008, said it received "overwhelming support" from parents, students and staff to continue the scheme.

A petition started by animal rights campaigner Ed Winter calling for the previous pigs to be saved from slaughter has now received more than 57,800 signatures.

Mr Cook said: "I'm happy for the school to keep pigs but I am against it being involved in the slaughter process.

"This can be shown in education without those animals being slaughtered - the children could go to a local butchers and see one of thousands already butchered."

He added in its current form the scheme was teaching children "that it's ok to kill an animal and eat it".

"Children should be taught to protect and nurture animals - it's about teaching them proper compassion," he said.

In a statement the school said: "There is also an argument for us to include more coverage in the curriculum of alternative diets, and sustainability, including the recruitment of expert speakers.

"We are currently exploring options in order to put a proposal to governors."

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