Farrowing crates unnecessary and illegal – reportJune 7th, 2018
A new report, released today, shows the use of farrowing crates are unnecessary, illegal and harmful to New Zealand pigs. SAFE is presenting Parliament with copies of the report, as part of our ongoing campaign to ban farrowing crates, used in pig factory farming.
The report, authored by Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics, Andrew Knight, is part of SAFE’s submission to the Primary Production Select Committee who are reviewing the 112,844 signature petition to Parliament, handed in in March. It was the largest petition received by Parliament in five years.
“We hope the select committee review our submission seriously and with consideration for scientific knowledge, good practice and public opinion,” says campaigns director Mandy Carter. “There is a legal – and ethical – obligation in New Zealand for all animals to be able to express their natural behaviour, which is currently being denied to many mother pigs.”
Green Party MP Gareth Hughes accepted a copy of the submission in his office. As the Green Party spokesperson for animal welfare, Hughes states “Factory farming practices, like farrowing crates, are unnecessarily inhumane and cruel, and should not be part of our modern agricultural practices.”
Pig farmers have justified the use of farrowing crates in the past, arguing that they are necessary to “protect” piglets. Knight’s report reviews the current studies and literature reviews of piglet mortality. He concludes that the science does “not prove that piglet mortality is necessarily improved by farrowing crates.” Some of the largest studies show “no significant differences in piglet mortality” between farrowing crates and more humane alternatives.
Unlike its predecessor, this current Government revealed it would not support many factory-farming methods deemed cruel by most New Zealanders. Before the 2017 election, both the Labour Party and the Greens pledged to end the use of farrowing crates.