The Grouse hunting season begins today but inclement weather in Scotland is affecting this year’s shoot. I hope those in pursuit of these birds will remember to take great care so as not to disturb the wild Haggis. This furry creature, with its two inside legs shorter than its two outside legs which allow it to run easily along hillsides are becoming an endangered species.

A movement is afoot to stop Battery Haggis Farming.

The life of a battery Haggis

If the neep is a male, it will be killed by gassing. The female neep is taken to a new environment with hundreds of other day-old neeps. The neeps are kept under heat lamps for warmth, either in ‘training’ cages or in deep litter sheds. Their food and water are provided via automated electronically controlled methods. Their light is timer-controlled, and large fans keep the air circulating. An unknown proportion of female neeps undergo ‘de-snouting’, which means that the haggis’s snout is partially amputated – many die of shock or their injury after this operation has taken place.

The neep grows up and becomes a haggis. If she has not been in a cage from day one, she will be put in a battery cage made entirely of thin wiremesh . The cage measures 50cm by 50cm (20 inches by 20 inches), and she shares this cage with four other haggis.. The cages are kept in a large windowless building, and are usually stacked in tiers six high. The haggis are fed and watered automatically, and their homogenised food is treated with antibiotics, colouring and medication. Their dung is taken away from the cages via conveyor belts. She will stay in the wire battery cage until her sixth week of life she will be hung by her feet on a conveyor belt and her throat will be cut by an automatic knife, unless she moves then she will have part of her head sliced off.

As Robert Burns wrote:

“Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a haggis! “


However I much prefer to savour a traditional Malt – hopefully international crop failures will not affect the production and supply of my winter night cap !


5 thoughts on “THE GLORIOUS 12th.

  1. How funny,
    It is raining in Cape Town so I am therefore quite pleased that my birthday dinner will be celebrated at home this evening and later celebrated again on Sunday in the winelands.
    Take care and enjoy your week-end.

    • enjoy your meal…I recently sampled, not all at once I must add, a bottle of chardonnay from the Breede River Valley. As already mentioned I will be having a rest from cooking for myself on Monday – a pub lunch is favourite although as that entails driving it will be alcohol free. At least the weather is improving – summer may yet reach middle england!!

  2. I found myself wondering if this post was for real. You no doubt are familiar with the iconic BBC April Fools “ducumentary” on the failure of the spaghetti farm.

    I was always under the (mis?)conception that Haggis contained sheep’s heart and liver. And that neeps were potatoes.

    You can tell I’m still a “foreigner” despite my two decades residence here. I see the commenter from Clifton Kitchen is quite clear that this is “funny.”

    So I think I can still eat my haggis with a clear conscience – free range or battery raised.

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