Unable to move: Each mother pig was confined in such a cramped and restrictive space that she could not turn around.
No access to bedding: Beneath many of the sows were simply plastic slats and concrete – designed for hygiene and convenience, but not for the basic needs of the animals.
No escape: These mothers can’t even move to get a break from the persistent attention of their piglets.
Dark, often windowless, sheds: The pigs are deprived of the sights, tastes or smells of the natural world.
Shamefully poor enrichment: On one farm, a piece of wood chained to each barren crate was supposed to stop these intelligent animals from getting bored! I watched one sow chew the bars of her cage in frustration.
Painful injuries: These cages with slippery slatted floors also cause physical suffering. I saw one sow with open wounds and another with blood on her rear feet.
Trapped beside death: Stopping sows from moving freely is supposed to reduce piglet crushing. But research proves you can keep overall death-rates down without using farrowing crates, and I saw many dead animals in these cage systems.