Ireland's Pig Industry

Approximately 3.5 million pigs are eslaughtered in Ireland every year. Help us put a stop to this horrific industry!

The Facts:

There are approximately 270 commercial pig farms in Ireland, and annually an average of 3.5 million pigs are slaughtered here every year. Though the use of sow stalls has been banned in some countries, it is permitted in Ireland for up to 4 weeks of pregnancy. Usually about a week before giving birth, sows are put in to farrowing crates, where they are kept then until their piglets are about 4 weeks old. The piglets are then taken away from their mothers, and put in to fattening pens, even though naturally they would still be suckling from their mothers up until about 3 months old. Depending on their weight, they are then slaughtered at about 5-6 months of age, though their natural lifespan would be on average about 20 years. Pigs are stunned using CO2 gas, which aims to render them unconscious. Consumers are led to believe that gassing is a humane way to kill pigs, and that they simply drift off to sleep, however undercover footage triggered national outrage in Australia in 2023 when activists exposed the reality of slaughtering using CO2 gas, with video footage revealing pigs thrashing, writhing, gasping and screaming as they slowly lose consciousness, in contradiction to industry claims of a “humane slaughter”. After this frightening and painful experience, they are then bled out to death.

The majority of pigs in Ireland spend their entire lives indoors, with no comfortable bedding, fresh air or sunlight. Currently, it is a legal requirement that pigs are provided with 8 hours of artificial light a day. “Enrichment”, a form of mental stimulation, is also a legal requirement. According to Teagasc, the most common form of enrichment used in Ireland is simply a metal chain. Although tail docking is banned within the EU, farmers are allowed to do it if they deem it “necessary” – and as a result, it is still commonly done here.


Watch our investigation here, and contact us for advice on going vegan today!

The Investigation:

In January 2024, the National Animal Rights Association and Animal Rebellion Ireland began investigating Ireland’s pig industry. The farms chosen were picked randomly, in an effort to give an honest and unbiased insight as to what really happens in Ireland. Inside these awful sheds, as you will see from the video on our website, are pigs in sow stalls, farrowing crates, fattening pens and dead and dying pigs just left to struggle in gangways.

There were many pigs and piglets sick and injured. Some were biting the bars of their pens repeatedly, which is a stress-induced stereotypical behaviour. Others were fearful, or just broken. The sadness and distress they displayed was undeniable.

What you won’t be able to see in the video is the nauseating stench of faeces, urine and decay. What is vividly clear though, is the blatant cruelty and complete absence of any hint of compassion towards these animals.

Welfare codes usually list five basic freedoms that claim to underpin pig welfare best practice at farm level. The “five freedoms” are listed below and provide an overall concept of alleged pig welfare:

1 Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition

2 Freedom from discomfort

3 Freedom from pain, injury and disease

4 Freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour

5 Freedom from fear and distress

We failed to see Five Freedoms being complied with during our investigation. These farms are void of any semblance of humanity or even basic husbandry. The blatant depravity that exists in this industry, is to a level that even we were not fully expecting to see.

Following our investigation, we made an anonymous call to the Dept. of Agriculture’s Animal Welfare Unit, to report what we witnessed on grounds of both animal welfare and biosecurity. All footage and details of the farms have been handed in to the Dept. of Agriculture too, and we sincerely hope the farms are investigated and prosecuted.

Regardless of any prosecutions, we want the entire pig industry shut down, and not over a lengthy transitional period. It needs to be shut down immediately. There is no way this industry can excuse or explain why they treat these beautiful, intelligent animals the way they do. No one could look at these pigs in those stalls, crates or pens, and convince themselves that they are content and well cared for. Regardless, there is no justification for using, exploiting or killing any animal, for any reason, in the first place.

If dogs and cats were kept in such conditions, there would be national outrage, legal prosecutions, and immediate changes in legislation to prohibit its continuance. What makes pigs any less worthy of basic empathy?

The pig industry is an abomination that needs to be eliminated from this country. Every second it continues to exist, is a second longer that these animals are forced to endure a life of suffering, alone in those dark, disgusting sheds.

We don’t need to kill animals in order to live. Transitioning to a vegan agricultural system in Ireland is not only possible, but a moral necessity – and a good place to start is by banning pig farming.


You can help us make a step towards shutting down Ireland's pig farming industry by adopting a vegan diet today. It's never been easier, or more necessary, to make the switch to a kinder way to live.

Need help? Contact us for recipes, advice and an introduction into the vegan community in Ireland. You can also help us push the government into making the transition to a vegan agricultural system, by contacting your local TDs and lobbying the Minister of Agriculture here: [email protected]

Want to help? NARA relies on the generosity of donors to finance our vital campaigns. If you’d like to support us, and enable us to conduct more investigations like this one, we welcome all donations via our webpage:

NARA is a legal, grassroots level organisation that only operates within the law. Information on this website is for the purpose of legal protest and information only. It should not be used to commit any criminal acts or harassment. NARA is not affiliated to any other animal rights group. NARA has no links or involvement with the Animal Liberation Front or the Animal Rights Militia. Any articles published on this web site relating to illegal activities are posted for the sole reason of publishing news related to animal rights, and are not intended to incite or encourage similar acts.

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Please feel free to contact us if you want to ask us any questions, report something or get involved.


Please feel free to contact us if you want to ask us any questions, report something or get involved.


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