Help Pigs: Urge the Government to Ban Gestation and Farrowing Crates in India


Mother pigs in factory farms are abused for most of their lives. They are confined in cages that are barely larger than their bodies—gestation crates during pregnancy and farrowing crates when giving birth. Mother pigs suffer in these crates, enduring a cruel cycle of pregnancy and birth, until they are slaughtered. 
What are ‘gestation crates’?
Gestation crates are metal enclosures measuring around 210 by 60 centimetres in which pigs used for breeding spend each of their nearly four-month-long pregnancies. The crates prevent these sensitive, intelligent animals from turning around, walking, socialising, or even lying down comfortably. Trapped in these crates, mother pigs in factory farms are unable to engage in many natural behaviours important to their well-being, such as rooting, building nests, grazing, and sleeping in the sun.

Some animals have been known to gnaw at the bars of their enclosures in stress and frustration. And according to the United States Department of Agriculture, these crates have been associated with reduced heart function and weakened bones in pigs.

What are ‘farrowing crates’?
Pregnant pigs are moved to farrowing crates about a week before giving birth. They live in these crates during the birth of their piglets—known as farrowing—and remain there for another 21 to 28 days as they nurse their babies. Like gestation crates, farrowing crates are so small that mother pigs are unable to turn around and can barely take even one step forwards or backwards. Sometimes, the flooring can cause sores on their feet, legs, and udders.

Gestation crates have been widely condemned by veterinarians and animal welfare experts, including Dr. Temple Grandin, who is considered one of the world’s leading experts on farmed animal welfare. Additionally, several countries have taken steps to ban gestation crates, and companies around the world have pledged to rid their supply chains of any products that are derived from such systems. India has about 91 lakh pigs, according to the 2020 livestock census. 
Many states, including Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan, have already issued directives prohibiting the use of gestation and farrowing crates to confine pigs. These actions are monumental in reducing suffering for farmed animals. But a directive issued by the central government to ban gestation and farrowing crates would be highly effective in reducing the suffering of pigs.

Join us in urging the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and use of gestation and farrowing crates for pigs in compliance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

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