Ground-breaking animal law change comes into effectDecember 3rd, 2015
Campaigners are celebrating the end of sow stalls as one of the greatest victories to ever occur in animal rights in New Zealand, saying today marks the last day that pigs will ever have to suffer in the cruel crates – assuming farmers comply with the law that comes into effect tomorrow, 4 December.
Sow stalls are cages in which pregnant pigs are kept for weeks at a time. For the entire duration, the sows are unable to turn around. They exhibit signs of stress, and often chew on the bars out of frustration.
No one is celebrating the ban more than SAFE, an organisation dedicated to alerting the public to animal cruelty. In 2009, SAFE teamed up with a former pork promoter, comedian Mike King, to reveal the actual conditions of New Zealand pig farms. After a high-profile campaign, the government agreed to phase out sow stalls. Today is the last day that the stalls can legally be used.
“We deny animals so many things that we take for granted for ourselves. It is shocking that even the basic right of being able to turn around was denied to animals. The sow stall ban is the first step towards that basic protection,” says SAFE head of campaigns Mandy Carter.
“When SAFE first started talking about the cruelty of sow stalls we were criticised for revealing standard pork industry abuse, but now, we have a ban in place in law. It is a victory both for animals and for caring New Zealanders.”
SAFE is concerned about whether or not the ban will actually be enforced, as monitoring of pig farms is inadequate. The Ministry for Primary Industries only investigates a farm when there is reason to believe a law has been broken. SAFE is also concerned at the cruelty that is still legal, such as farrowing crates and fattening pens.
“The government may not be checking these farms, but pig farmers are warned: if they do not comply with the ban, we will find out about it,” promises Mandy Carter.
SAFE is calling upon the public to contact them with any information about farms failing to comply with the sow stall ban. Footage of the sow stall campaign can be viewed here.