25 February 2000
Farmers’ Club aids pig campaigners

By Vicky Houchin

ONE of the most prestigious but conservative farming establishments has relaxed its formal rules in support of the ongoing pig vigil in Parliament Square.

The Farmers Club is supporting campaigners who are camping outside the Houses of Parliament in protest at government reluctance to help the pig industry.

Demonstrators manning the 24-hour vigil – which is entering its second month – are being given free flasks of tea and coffee during the night.

In the mornings, Farmers Club staff have been told to overlook the strict dress code of jacket and tie for campaigners using the toilet and washing facilities.

Grieve Carson, Farmers Club secretary, said: “It has been nothing glamorous and what we are doing is only small, but we must do our bit.

“It is the very least we could do and we will continue doing it for as long as [campaigners] are there.”

The vigil at Parliament Square has attracted 66,000 signatures of support from the public, MPs and tourists over the past three weeks.

More than 1800 farmers have signed up to support the protest, organised by the National Pig Association, by manning the site in 12-hour shifts.