Peasenhall: Pig rearing project receives high profile support

School Commissioner Dr Elizabeth Sidwell visited Peasenhall Primary School where they are rearing th

School Commissioner Dr Elizabeth Sidwell visited Peasenhall Primary School where they are rearing their own pigs. - Credit: Archant

A PRIMARY school project in which pupils are helping to rear pigs before sending them off to the butcher’s has received high profile support.

The smallholding at Peasenhall Primary School, to teach youngsters about the food chain, has led to hate mail and hundreds of complaints from animal rights groups – forcing teachers to contact police.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said she thought it was disgraceful the school had been victim to such behaviour, while Suffolk’s celebrity pig farmer Jimmy Doherty described the project as “fantastically forward thinking”.

The three pigs, crosses between Berkshire and Gloucester Old Spots, are kept in a pen and fed and monitored by the children with the help of parents and experts from Suffolk Smallholder Society. The project, run in conjunction with Suffolk-based Cook With Me Kids, has received widespread publicity.

Dr Coffey said: “Pig farming is an industry we are famous for. We are a rural county and it is refreshing the school are teaching our young people about where food comes from in such an innovative way. It is disgraceful the school has been a victim of threatening behaviour from people that are opposed to this project, especially as it is promoting high standards of animal welfare. I hope these threats will now end and I am sure the police will intervene if it continues.”

Mr Doherty, who runs The Essex Pig Company at Wherstead, near Ipswich, and is a passionate supporter of local produce, said: “I’ve been very lucky to travel around the world filming and experiencing a variety of cultures. One thing they all have in common is knowledge of where their food comes from.

“I think what Peasenhall is doing is fantastically forward-thinking. The scheme is promoting animal welfare and educating children about where our food comes from. It’s great this is happening in Suffolk, one of the best pig producing regions in the country.”

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