Working towards a more compassionate world through education and advocacy

Past Campaigns and News

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The rise and demise of conscience-free shopping!

Please add your signature to the worldwide petition to ban gestation crates for pregnant pigs.


Dear Friends,

Please add your signature to the worldwide petition to ban gestation crates for pregnant pigs.


Compassion in World Farming (SA) is proud to support the Pig Pledge Campaign. By signing up and taking the pledge, you will be speaking out for hundreds of millions of mother pigs around the world who never get to use their legs or see a blade of grass or feel a ray of sunshine and are inseminated cycle after cycle into a perpetual state of pregnancy/lactation/pregnancy.


After more than a decade of campaigning by Compassion SA, the Pork Producers Organisation (SAPPO) negotiated an agreement with its farmers for a partial ban on gestation crates by 2020 whereby  sows will spend 8 weeks in and 8 weeks out of gestation crates.


Compassion SA thanks SAPPO for this impending industry-wide ban which is a significant step forward.  Three weeks ago, Pick n Pay committed itself to sourcing all its pork products from farmers which do not confine their mother pigs in gestation crates by December 2016.


However, it is unclear whether PnP’s 2016 commitment is in line with SAPPO’s 8 weeks inside crates/ 8 weeks out – or is an all-out ban, and the retail giant has not yet replied to my query in this regard.


Woolworths has introduced a 1 week in/15 weeks out system that is already available to customers.


The world-wide movement against gestation crates is gaining momentum at considerable speed.  See what the New York Times said in an Op-Ed at the weekend about our atrocious treatment of pigs, click here.


Then please sign here: Pig Pledge Campaign


Kind regards and appreciation,Louise


Teaching for a generation of informed and sensitised citizens.

Please add your signature to the worldwide petition to ban gestation crates for pregnant pigs.


Part of what we do is to work with teachers, showing them how humane education fits into the learning areas and topics stipulated by the national  curriculum for South African schools.


At the beginning of September, we conducted a tremendously successful workshop for teachers in the Franschhoek valley.

Read about this workshop and the teachers’ comments in the booklet below.


With sufficient funding, we could roll out these workshops throughout South Africa introducing a new ethos and exhilaration into the psyche of teachers - which they, in turn, are able to pass on to their learners – creating a sensitised, conscientised generation of citizens.


Who/which corporate will donate the first R100 000 to The Humane Education Trust for this purpose?

Please click here.

Compassion SA thanks People magazine

Compassion SA thanks People magazine for giving a voice to factory farmed chickens and pigs in their August 15, 2014 issue (Vol 28, No 33).

Modise should not get her animals back - animal rights activist

Credits: eNCAnews      9 July 2014 -  Cape Town journalist and animal activist Louise van der Merwe speaks to eNCA

about the disregard for animals that has become a culture in South Africa.

Farmageddon – Small is beautiful?

The article "Farmageddon – Small is beautiful?" appeared first on

“If consumers across the world could see how their food is produced, they’d think again.”


I had seen the burgeoning mega-piggeries in China; I wanted to see some of the smaller ones in case they presented better conditions for animal welfare.

The farm owners were really sensitive about letting us see how their pregnant pigs are kept. With persistence, we got to uncover what it was they didn’t want us to witness.


We also got a glimpse of the gathering human health consequences from keeping animals in conditions so dependent on antibiotics and other drugs.

In this film, I share my findings on how it’s the nature of the operation that is the concern; whether it is intensive or not; rather than simply the scale of the farm.


To get your copy of ‘Farmageddon: The true cost of cheap meat’,

please contact Louise on

Compassion's voice for farmed animals reaches a huge audience

The article "Farmageddon – Small is beautiful?" appeared first on

Dear Friend of Farmed Animals,

Philip Lymbery’s six-day visit to South Africa last week has left behind a consumer awareness way beyond our expectations! Compassion (South Africa) thanks the Media for its stunning response to Philip’s visit and the opportunities it gave him to get the message of his book Farmageddon out there!


As Chief Executive of Compassion in World Farming, Philip visited South Africa as part of a world- wide tour to launch his book Farmageddon  – a book that many reviewers believe will revolutionise the way we produce food. Published n the UK just three months ago, Farmageddon is already into its fourth printing. Philip’s next stops are Canada, the USA and India.


One of the highlights of Philip’s visit was his presentation to Woolworths of Compassion’s coveted Good Egg Award!  To see the action, watch Expresso Show flighted on national TV yesterday!


Another highlight was the launch of Farmageddon at the Constitutional Court Auditorium in Johannesburg, hosted by Professor David Bilchitz, director of the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional Human Rights and International Law (SAIFAC).

The Cape Town launch of Farmageddon took place at Kalk Bay Books with Radio 567’s John Maytham as host.


Here’s some idea of Philip’s hectic media schedule last week:


Interview with Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show, Cape Talk 567. To listen to this podcast,  click here.

Interview with Georgia Schuman for the Food and Wine Tablet magazine CRUSH

Interview with Channel Islam International. To listen to this podcast, click here.

Interview with SAFM’s Nancy Richards and the Enviro-ShowInterview with Jenny Crwys Williams, Talk Radio 702

Discussion with Mr Gerhard Schutte, CEO of the Red Meat Producers Organisation. To watch this interview, click here.

Interview with Derek Watts on Carte Blanche.  To view this video, click here.


Very especially, the learners at Forest Heights Primary School presented Philip with all they had learned about the essential Five Freedoms for Animals!

To read Philip’s blog post on his South African visit, click here.


To listen to Humane Education Trust trustee Tony Gerrans being interviewed by Gorry Bowes Taylor about Farmageddon,

which aired on Fine Music Radio on 5th May 2014, click here.


Best regards and thank you for your support in bringing about a better world for farmed animals –

one where their lives are worth living. Please consider making a donation towards our work, click here.



Director in South Africa: Compassion in World Farming


NSPCA we applaud you, but...

The NSPCA announced in a Media Statement yesterday that it was preparing a docket to lay criminal charges against Nulaid for the selling by an employee of emaciated, injured and dying hens at a Rustenburg cull depot for end-of-lay chickens.

Daily News journalist Mphathi Nxumalo asked Compassion’s Louise van der Merwe for comment. Here is what she said:


“I applaud the NSPCA for laying criminal charges against Nulaid for the suffering of its end-of-lay hens at the cull outlet  in Rustenburg.

“However, it would be better still if the NSPCA laid criminal charges against Pioneer Foods which incorporates Nulaid, for the suffering of all the millions of Nulaid hens who spend their lives in impossibly tight spaces in battery cages, laying their 300 eggs a year -  before landing up at the various cull depots. 


“Back in 1991, we laid a criminal complaint to the police against Nulaid’s predecessor, Lemoenkloof Plase, on the grounds that, as the biggest battery egg producer in South Africa, it was guilty of violating the Animals Protection Act by keeping hens in ‘inadequate space’, by ‘maiming’ them (through debeaking) and by causing them ‘unnecessary suffering’ at cull depots. Our case was given to Advocate Billy Downer who later became famous as the prosecutor in the Schabir Shaik case. However, after 18 months of deliberation the State refused to prosecute Lemoenkloof Plase on the grounds that our case did not have a reasonable chance of success. The State’s file containing all our documents mysteriously ‘disappeared’.


“Today 24 million laying hens around South Africa spend their lives in abject misery, in a space allowance each, for life, of 75% of an A4 sheet of paper. They are debeaked, often de-toed and prevented from exercising even one of their natural behaviours. The suffering witnessed by the NSPCA at Rustenburg is found in the battery cages themselves before the hens even get to the cull outlets.  Click here to view our video clip of the cull outlet at Philippi.

“The entire system needs to go – from battery cages to cull depots.


The entire system is an abomination and takes away any right any of us have to human dignity. Compassion in World Farming (SA) has a  petition on the go requesting Kevin Lovell, CEO of the South African Poultry Association, to give us a time-line for a phase-out of battery cages for laying hens, as is being done in other countries around the world.”

Pedalling for Farmed Animals

For the first time ever, cyclists in yesterday’s world-famous Pick n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour pedalled to raise awareness of the deplorable and shameful living conditions of farmed animals in South Africa and around the world.


Among them was Andrew Canter, chief investment officer of Futuregrowth, one of South Africa’s leading asset management and investment companies.


Proudly sporting Compassion’s cycle shirt, Andrew said: "I believe that future generations will look back on the way early-21st century humans maltreated their farmed animals in dismay and disbelief -- much as today we look back on human slavery".


Asked about his unusual headgear, he quipped: "Riding the Argus cycle tour with a chicken on your head is neither safe nor aerodynamic -- but it’s a lot of fun"


Bravo, Andrew! Wow!

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