Carrefour Shocks Customers with Live Piglet Next to Sausage Stand

Hypermarket Carrefour shocked customers at its Tbilisi Mall branch yesterday by displaying a live piglet next to the stand of a Georgian brand selling pork products. The sales girl offered passersby a taste of "fresh" sausage, with the discounted products in packages next to the trembling piglet.

It is common practice in Georgia, a tradition in fact, to slaughter piglets (by western standards "underweight" pigs) and roast them in tone ovens prior to the New Year feast. But this was a first for many shoppers to see the live animal so close to its fate.

Angry customers and animal rights activists flooded Carrefour with emails, tweets and facebook requests that the piglet be removed (with many volunteering to offer him a "forever home" themselves) for moral and sanitary reasons.

GEORGIA TODAY went to the store this morning and confirmed the piglet had been removed from the sales stand. We spoke to the Georgian and French managers of the Tbilisi Mall branch who told us the piglet had been given back to its owner, ABD Georgia, following a one-day-only promotional campaign. They added that were unable to comment further on the issue and said we should wait for a written response from the company's Public Relations (PR) manager.

Her response arrived at lunchtime with a message apologizing for the misunderstanding.

"We would like to inform you that Carrefour promotes Georgian products in the country and assists Georgian farmers in business development. Within the framework of the Festival of Georgian Products, one of Carrefour's suppliers brought a live pig to popularize its farm, and due to the sensitivity of the issue, the company responded promptly, asking the supplier to withdraw the pig from the Carrefour store area as soon as possible," the company's PR told us.

"Carrefour is actively involved in improving the livelihoods of animals, for example our company helps black bears on Georgia's Red List out of captivity and feeds them," she added.

Animal rights activists say their trust in Carrefour has been shaken by this event and that they will be watching out for similar "product promotions" in future, and will act should it occur.

By Katie Ruth Davies

31 October 2019 14:15