So cruel that they have been banned in the UK since 1999, these metal-barred crates, which are a mere 2 metres long and 60 cm wide, do not allow pigs even to turn around. Over time, pigs kept in sow crates often develop joint damage, leg weakness, urinary tract infections and sores from lying on hard, filthy concrete. Many go insane from the confinement.
Even if the majority of producers do implement this phase out, sows will still be allowed to be crated for up to six weeks before being released into group housing. And there has been no mention made of phasing out farrowing crates, which are even smaller, more restrictive pens that sows are confined to after they have given birth. These crates prevent mother pigs from even nuzzling or cleaning their babies.
Following high-profile campaigns, New Zealand implemented a ban on the use of sow stalls, effective in 2015. 2017 is too far away for the thousands of Aussie pigs currently suffering in sow stalls right now. Just ask Coles, who demanded that all its pork producers go sow-stall-free by 2014.
There is still a long way to go when it comes to the treatment of pigs used for food in Australia, but there is no reason why the entire industry cannot at least meet this date and bring our pig welfare standards in line with other progressive countries.
In the meantime, help stop the suffering of pigs by keeping pork off your fork!
Posted by Ashley Fruno