Following years of relentless consumer awareness campaigning by Animals Australia, the Australian pig industry has finally agreed to pursue a phase out of cruel sow stalls.
The decision announced on November 17 at Australian Pork Limited's AGM will see the industry move towards a phase out of the stalls by 2017, more than a decade after the cruel system was banned in the UK. In a press release APL stated that the decision was due to "a growing unrest among customers about the industry’s use of gestation stalls". Whilst this decision is welcomed by Animals Australia, we will be actively campaigning to bring this date forward.
A sow stall in a tiny metal cage in which pregnant pigs can legally be confined for weeks on end, unable to lie down properly or turn around.
Confined for weeks on end, these highly intelligent and social animals are denied all quality of life and suffer a host of mental and physical ailments, including depression.
Pigs are forced to give birth in a 'farrowing crate' which restricts their movement even more, and denies them the strong maternal instinct to nurture or interact with their young.
Piglets have their teeth cut, exposing the sensitive pulp inside. This excruciating procedure is done without pain relief.
Crude 'surgical' implements are used to castrate males, and cut the teeth and tails off piglets without anaesthetic.
As Animals Australia's Executive Director Glenys Oogjes has stated, "These cruel devices are causing suffering to animals now — and will continue to do so every minute that animals remain confined in them. Coles responded to consumer concerns by gaining a commitment from their producers to end the use of sow stalls by 2014, so there should be no excuse for other Australian pig producers to not be able to meet this date.
"Skyscrapers and freeways are built in less than six years. Whilst this is a positive announcement by Australian Pork Limited, there is no legitimate justification for not getting rid of sow stalls earlier and we will be campaigning for them to do so."
Animals Australia has been at the forefront of national public awareness campaigns highlighting the suffering endured by mother pigs in sow stalls and farrowing crates in factory farms. Our television commercials shocked Australians, many…