Pigs deserve kindness, compassion and the freedom to live a good life. Pigs are some of the most intelligent animals on earth. They are curious, form tight knit family groups, and like all animals, have natural behavioural needs. Pigs love fresh air and sunlight. Outdoors, a mother pig will spend her day rooting around, searching for food, mud bathing and caring for her piglets.
In New Zealand, over half of pig farms keep mother pigs in farrowing crates — a barbaric cage that prevents mother pigs from tending to their piglets. A mother pig is kept trapped from a few days before she gives birth up until as much as five weeks afterwards, until her babies are taken away from her.
A mother pig in a farrowing crate cannot build a nest for her young, or even reach out and nuzzle her piglets, she is kept behind bars — like a prisoner. Unable to even turnaround, all she can do is stand up and lie down to feed them.
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We will create change for mother pigs
SAFE has been instrumental in exposing the plight of pigs on factory farms and is currently leading the charge to ban the use of farrowing crates — in 2018, we submitted the largest petition presented to Parliament in the previous five years. More than 110,000 compassionate people joined us to call on the Government for change.
In October 2018, the Government reissued the Pig Code of Welfare, without notice or consultation, allowing the continued use of farrowing crates.
We’ve already banned sow stalls (a small cage used for the duration of a sow’s pregnancy) in New Zealand, following a harrowing exposé on the industry practice of trapping pregnant pigs for weeks on end in sow stalls on TVNZ’s Sunday programme in 2009. The next year, the Government announced the phaseout of these barbaric cages.
We will ban farrowing crates too
In February 2019, SAFE and the New Zealand Animal Law Association (NZALA) took historic action by filing legal proceedings against the Government for allowing the continued use of farrowing crates in violation of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
Sweden, Switzerland and Norway have all banned this cruel confinement of pigs. Together, we can create an Aotearoa where pigs are treated as individuals, and not products.