BAN THE FARROWING CRATE
because she's a mother
The farrowing crate is one of the very
worst of factory farmings hidden horrors. Hundreds
of thousands of pregnant sows are shut into these tiny
cages a week before they give birth - and remain imprisoned
until their piglets are three to four weeks old. The
crate is just inches wider and longer than the sows
own body: for up to thirty-five days, every four or
five months, she can do nothing but stand up, lie down,
suckle her piglets and stare at a blank wall. This terrible
frustration can turn into aggression: more than one-in-eight
piglets are savaged to death by their own mothers. Limbs
aching from inactivity, skin rubbed raw by the bars
and their maternal instincts utterly frustrated, mother
pigs suffer from stress, pain and psychological torture
in the crate.
Many piglets are born into their mothers excrement.
After that, they are confined to the tiny, barren
creep area next to the cage - with nothing
to do but suckle and fight over their mothers
milk. By three weeks old wild piglets are normally
found up to 30 metres from the sow, exploring their
environment and trying out new foods - no such stimulation
for these intelligent, curious little animals in the
crate. After a month of confinement and misery, the
piglets are weaned, ie taken away to be
fattened for slaughter. Weaning takes place months
before it should naturally occur and the piglets,
unused to solid food, suffer from scours - pitiful,
wasting diarrhoea. They are then given a cocktail
of drugs on a daily basis. Their mothers, meanwhile,
are given just a few days before being reimpregnated,
and starting the whole 16 week cycle again.
The farrowing crate is designed with one purpose
only: to maximise the production of pigs.
All considerations of animal welfare are sacrificed
to that goal. It is, therefore, not just an appalling
practice in its own right, but a symbol of everything
that is evil about factory farming. That is why this
campaign is so important. Viva! is committed to the
abolition of the farrowing crate not just for its
own sake but as an integral part of the struggle to
end factory farming and meat consumption itself.
Read more about the farrowing crate. Viva! fact sheet updated for 2011.
Viva!'s action pack contains sample letters
to MPs and the press, postcards to send to supermarkets
and the Government and all the information you need
to help the campaign against the crate. Order here