An initiative by Aussie Farms and Animal Liberation ACT

Get the facts

Find out what really happens before the pigs become your breakfast, from sow stalls and farrowing crates to what's wrong with free range.

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Pigs General Practices Sow Stalls Farrowing Crates Breeding Free Range

Farrowing crates in Australian pig farms

Farrowing crates are a very well-kept industry secret. With all the focus on the hideous sow stalls not many consumers have been alerted to the fact that female pigs are actually confined to even smaller cages after giving birth to their babies.

The farrowing sheds can house up to hundreds of female pigs with their babies and are touted by the industry as a necessity to keep mother pigs from crushing their offspring. The reality is that constraining female pigs in cages reduces the amount of space a pig farm takes up and then allows a operator to maximize sow and piglets numbers which in turn maximizes profits.

Evidence gathered by activists shows farrowing sheds full of injured, sickly, dying or dead piglets (often in their crates next to their mothers) and injured female pigs. Piglets have been found crushed underneath their mothers, discounting the purpose of farrowing crates - the sows have a lot of trouble standing up or lying down due to injuries and the weakness of their muscles, so even when they do lie down on top of one of their young, they are often unable to get back up.

Even if the much spoken about 'phase out of sow stalls' in 2017 comes to fruition, resulting in a reduction in the time female pigs are restricted to sow stalls, they will still be forced to live in farrowing crates whilst they give birth to, and for weeks after they’ve had their babies.

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