Take action Help SAFE & NZALA seek justice for mother pigs
Justice for all Animals


Together, we have made history for mother pigs.

Justice for all Animals

Together, we have made history for mother pigs.

In June 2020, SAFE partnered with our friends at the New Zealand Animal Law Association to challenge the use of cruel farrowing crates in the High Court. This was the first time in New Zealand history that such a challenge had taken place.

The High Court has ruled on 13 November 2020 that the minimum standards and regulations for the use of farrowing crates are unlawful. Simply put – the High Court agrees that using farrowing crates to house mother pigs is a violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

Now is the time to give all animals a voice. Join us as we make history for other animals in Aotearoa.


On June 8 and 9, 2020, SAFE and the New Zealand Animal Law Association (NZALA) went to court to prove that farrowing crates are illegal under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

We called for a complete ban on farrowing crates and mating stalls, which confine mother pigs and do not allow them to express their natural behaviour.

Not only do these horrible crates mean prolonged suffering for sensitive mother pigs, the legislation that allows farmers to continue this cruel practice was put in place unlawfully.

SAFE and NZALA demanded justice for animals and won.


Across New Zealand, more than 14,000 mother pigs are confined in narrow cages barely wider than their own bodies.

Mother pigs are confined for over three months each year. They are confined in mating stalls for up to seven days during early pregnancy. They are confined again in farrowing crates for up to five weeks, just before they give birth until their babies are weaned.

They can’t take more than a step backwards or forwards, and can’t turn around. Expressing natural behaviours like nest building, foraging, or interacting with their piglets and other pigs are impossible.

Pigs are intelligent, sensitive animals that show obvious signs of distress, their heart rate becomes elevated and they may bite the bars of the crates.

The Government’s own advisors, the National Animal Welfare Committee (NAWAC) had previously advised the Government that farrowing crates do not meet the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act. Both the Labour Party and the Green Party committed to banning farrowing crates prior to the 2016 election. In March 2018 more than 112,000 caring Kiwis signed a petition calling for a ban on the use of farrowing crates.

Yet the use of farrowing crates has continued in clear violation of the Act. We went to court to demand proper enforcement of the Act so mother pigs are kept in a way that is safe and legal. And, we won.

Help us make history for other animals.

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As a charity, SAFE is reliant on the support of caring people like you to carry out our valuable work. Every gift goes towards providing education, undertaking research and campaigning for the benefit of all animals. SAFE is a registered charity in New Zealand (CC 40428). Contributions of $5 or more are tax-deductible.