Ethical Pork ltd is a smallholding close to Oldcastle, Co. Meath, Ireland. It was established in 2013 as a one woman micro business. In June'13 Ethical Pork started trading at the Leopardstown Farmers Market and a few months later Ethical Pork joined the Producers Market in Dundalk. In 2015 Blackrock Centre (Co. Dublin) was added to the market list and in Feb.'16 Ethical Pork started trading at The Green Door Market in Dublin 8. You can also meet Ethical Pork (and Ety) at the Sheridans Cheesemongers Food Fair in May each year.
Ethical Pork works exclusively with full bred Tamworth pigs. These rare breed pigs are farmed and treated ethically. All piglets are home bred and raised outdoors over a 8-12 month period. The "finisher pigs" and all sows with piglets are fed on a specialist pig feed from www.hipeak.co.uk . "Grower pigs" and mature sows are also fed on a livestock mix from www.robinsglen.ie. Both feeds are certified free of antibiotics, steroids, herbicides, GMO, etc. The pigs live in forests where they roam freely on clean, natural land. They have good shelter with straw as bedding and live up to 3 x longer than “factory farmed” pigs. "Ethical Pork" has been placed on the High Welfare Pork Directory; www.pigspledge.org because of high animal welfare standards. The pigs are killed in Mullagh (Lislin Meats) Co. Cavan under stress free conditions and in the presence of the farmer who stays with them in the holding pen. Pig Herd number is ZQ139 (Dept. of Agric.) All meat is cut up, vac. packed and frozen by Flood's Butchers in Oldcastle who also make the (famous) sausages and the dry cured bacon. Ethical Pork has recently started working with Sean Rooney's Butchers in Ballyshannon, where the mature sows are slaughtered and cut up. All pork and bacon is frozen at source (by the butchers) and stored at max. – 18*C at the farmer’s premises (registered with the HSE for the sale of frozen pork). Ethical Pork stands weekly at the Green Door Market in Dublin (every Saturday).
Tamworth pigs are ginger to yellowish and have long snouts and legs (ideal for digging and rotivating). Tamworth sows are good mothers and no help is needed with birthing, apart from making sure that the litter is kept warm and that the sow is comfortable and has water and feed nearby. Weaning is "natural" around the age of 3 months; which is twice as long as even under organic standards. Ethical Pork pigs and litters are housed in calf hutches because these retain heat when topped up with straw. Because the pigs are grazing on pasture and out in forests, half of the pig's fat is unsaturated (the "good fat").
When the pigs are ready for slaughter, the farmer (Ety) loads them by feeding them in the trailer (no force is used at any stage in the process). The farmer transports the pigs to the abattoir in Mullagh, Co. Cavan (and recently to Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal)and offloads them into the holding pen. Ety stays with the pigs in the holding pen as they are killed straight away. She assists with stunning by keeping the animals calm and distracting them with feed and apples.