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INVESTIGATION: UK LAW ALLOWS THIS CRUELTY

CIWF Investigator:  In Spring 2019, Compassion sent me undercover to two British pig farms. My report summary is below, bearing witness to the cages that are used to confine over half of our country’s sows.

It might be tough reading, but it’s nothing when compared to what these intelligent creatures endure. 

DONATE TODAY

Donate today! Let’s end factory farming and stop legal cruelty.

We must make sure that no mother pig, no farm animal, has to endure such needless suffering. Please make a donation today. You’ll be fighting to ban cruelty, to inform consumers about the grim reality of factory farming, and to persuade more companies to give animals a life worth living. Thank you!

Caged UK Farrowing Sows – Investigator’s report

Every time they ‘farrow’, more than half of Britain's mother pigs are confined for up to five weeks in cages so small they can’t turn around. In these tiny, narrow, unnatural spaces, they give birth and nurse their piglets.

Please read on for a summary of what I witnessed on two British pig farms in Spring 2019 – or download my full report here.

UK Factory Pig Farms – A mother’s perspective

In both the UK farms I visited, the suffering inflicted upon the sows was clear and undeniable:

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.

Sow in farrowing crate with piglets

It might be legal, but this is wrong. Can you make a donation today to help get farm animals out of factories?

UK Factory Pig Farms – A piglet’s perspective

The sight of the piglets, just babies, born into these conditions was also truly heart-breaking:

Tragic companionship: In one crate I saw piglets, seeking comfort under a heat lamp, resting against the body of their seriously ill sibling.

Open wounds: I saw several piglets, little more than a week old, who’d already suffered agonising injuries to their feet, and one with a deep gash on its face.

Basic care denied: One piglet, lying in afterbirth, was struggling to breathe. His mother, forced to lie in her own waste, couldn’t even turn around to see him.

Dying before they’ve lived: Sows kept in cages produce less milk, putting their weaker piglets at risk. I saw dead animals lying apparently unnoticed in the crate or, in one case, discarded in an aisle.

Injured and dead piglets

Let’s end factory farming and stop legal cruelty

The cruelty to pigs witnessed by our investigators has no place in Britain – or anywhere. Please make a gift today to keep up the fight against factory farming, in the UK and around the world.

Thanks to the past support of people like you, the momentum is already with us as we fight for new laws to protect farm animals:

  1. Over 100,000 people signed the parliamentary petition calling for a ban on farrowing crates and other cages for farm animals.
  2. Theresa Villiers, the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has publicly backed our campaigns against both cages and UK live exports.
  3. We recently held our largest ever face-to-face briefing event in the House of Commons – with dozens of MPs from across the political spectrum supporting the call to ban caged farming.
  4. George Eustice, now a Defra Minister, spoke at the parliamentary launch of our new advice to the government on transforming our food system.
  5. Over a quarter of a million people have joined the UK campaign to End the Cage Age.

Together, we achieved all this in just a few short months. Please don’t stop now!

free-range outdoor system for pigs
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