Belgium goes pantless for pigs

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With their boxer-shorts and assorted underpants hanging on a clothesline, Belgian animal rights campaigners Friday staged a brief-free "Let-em hang!" rally in solidarity with castrated pigs.

The pantless daylong protest called by animal welfare group Gaia aims to halt the pain endured by the five million piglets castrated in Belgium each year.

"It's extremely cruel," said Michel Vandenbosch who organised the "Let'em hang!" campaign for men to go without underwear for a day.

Wearing "I love pigs" T-shirts at a rally symbolically held by Belgium's most famous landmark -- the Manneken Pis sculpture of a small boy urinating -- campaigners urged farmers and authorities to end piglet pain.

"You can feel how precious they are and how you wouldn't want to be in the pig's place," said a man who gave his name only as Thierry.

A few days after birth, male piglets are deprived of their testicles to prevent the rare but possible occurrence of a foul smell when pork is cooked.

The group says the problem could be fixed by hormones rather than castration.

© 2011 AFP

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