MEDIA RELEASE: 100+ Pigs Spared Death Following International Outcry

MEDIA RELEASE: 100+ Pigs Spared Death Following International Outcry

ROME (Oct. 11, 2022)In Defense of Animals applauds the decision to spare over 100 healthy rescue pigs and urban boars at an Italian sanctuary following a ruling by the regional court, TAR Lazio, in Rome. Local health officials proposed killing the pigs in an attempt to stop the spread of African swine fever.

On Oct. 10, the court accepted the appeal of over 16,000 In Defense of Animals supporters and other animal allies worldwide, deeming the proposed slaughter illegitimate. Italian news sources reported that TAR Lazio acknowledged local health officials with ASL Roma 1 should have recognized the inherent exemption from the deadly disease control measures as Sfattoria degli Ultimi is a "shelter for animals in difficulty," not a factory farm, and should have realized the "high cultural or educational value pursuant to article 13 of the EU delegated regulation 2020/687." 

In early August, local health officials with ASL Roma 1 ordered the killing of the porcine residents at Sfattoria degli Ultimi in an attempt to curb the spread of African swine fever in the area. However, all the animals are registered with the proper health authorities and easily identifiable with microchips that prove they will never be forced into the food production system, which legally spared them from the fate they have avoided.

The sanctuary’s facilities are in compliance with biosecurity rules to prevent the spread of disease and the shelter’s residents are kept in fenced areas to avoid transmittable contagion. Sfattoria degli Ultimi is located in the Roman countryside and provides residents with over three miles of gardens and two large stables where they will now be able to enjoy long, healthy lives.

“In Defense of Animals maintained cautious optimism as local officials in Rome held the fate of over 100 pigs and urban boars at Sfattoria degli Ultimi in their hands. The outcome of today’s hearing is a resounding triumph and a testament to the compassion and kindness that these animals inherently deserve,” said Erin Dobrzyn, Farmed Animals campaigner for In Defense of Animals.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health, African swine fever caused the deaths of more than 1.5 million sentient pigs between 2020 and 2021, who either died from this painful disease, or were killed via various methods on farms to prevent further contagion. However, killing pigs en masse does not prevent further outbreaks of African swine fever or other diseases of concern, as both infected ticks and pork products fed to pigs on factory farms can spread the disease, according to the Center for Food Security and Public Health. Farming animals for food and profit inevitably leads to raising them in filthy, overcrowded conditions, which continues to put animal and public health at risk. 

Italy is forecast to kill 9.9 million pigs in slaughterhouses in 2022.

### NOTES ###


Contact: Erin Dobrzyn,, ‪(601) 207-0351‬

In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin County, California, with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as its hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.


### ENDS ###

You can support our work by donating