‘Let’s Do This.’ Calls on Labour to uphold election promiseJuly 26th, 2018
A live pig will be attending a rally on Parliament steps at midday on 26 July, representing the 16,000 mother pigs being confined in so-called ‘farrowing crates’. She will be joined by veterinarian Rosalind Holland, Green MP Gareth Hughes and other caring New Zealanders, all pushing Labour to uphold its election promise and ban farrowing crates.
“We are at Parliament to be a voice for those who can’t speak out for themselves; for the thousands of mother pigs who are imprisoned for weeks on end in crates so small they can’t even turn around,” says SAFE head of campaigns Marianne Macdonald. “Without material to build a nest for their babies, these mothers’ natural instincts are severely frustrated. All they can do is scrape their noses across the hard, bare floor in a futile attempt to create a nest. This is no way to treat a mother.”
Earlier this month footage was released of a farm in Timaru, with pigs in farrowing crates so small that many of these large animals were forced to have their heads wedged under their feeding troughs to be able to lie down. The bars were also shown pressing into the sides of many of these mothers.
Despite this evidence, NZ Pork has given the farm its support.
Macdonald says, “No animal should be confined. The denial of any form of natural stimulation or enrichment for pigs in farrowing crates is particularly cruel. These are highly intelligent and social animals, but the pig industry is clearly OK with putting them through hell just for the sake of profit. This has to stop!”
Around 40 per cent of sows on NZ farms already raise their piglets without being confined in cages.
A scientific report into the threats to animal welfare from farrowing crates and effective alternatives for housing mother pigs, by Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics Andrew Knight, has been presented to the Parliamentary committee who are currently evaluating the future of crates for pigs.
SAFE says that it’s time for Government to listen to caring Kiwis, as well as the science, and ban farrowing crates.
“We can’t trust the pig industry to stop the suffering of pigs. Therefore, it’s up to Government to act. Labour’s election policy was to ban farrowing crates. New Zealanders are now asking them to honour that promise.”