A Yorkshire school has come under fire for its plans to slaughter pigs, in what it describes as a bid to teach children about the food chain.
Pupils at Farsley Farfield Primary in Leeds have reared the pigs since September. The animals are due to be killed over the Summer.
A former pupil of the school has set up a petition - saying the initiative could be traumatizing for the children, and it will teach them 'that it is okay to exploit and kill animals with the only justification being that people enjoy eating their bodies'.
"Pigs are as intelligent as dogs and at least as smart as a three-year-old human child," said Ix Willow. "They are friendly animals that can live for about 12 years or so. Schools have a duty of care to support children, teach them fair values and to provide a safe and happy environment for them.
"By teaching children that it is okay to exploit and kill animals they are in breach of this, and this could also be traumatizing for children getting to know the animals and then knowing they are going to die."
Vegetarian head teacher
But vegetarian head teacher, Peter Harris, said he wants to raise the children's awareness around animal welfare and sustainability.
"The pigs will live twice as long as commercial pigs and appear to be enjoying their outdoor life with plenty of opportunity to root around," he said. "Their welfare standards are much higher than most pigs.
"I don't think that we are desensitizing the children, I suggest that our children will be more knowledgeable and sensitive to animal welfare than most of their peers."