Campaign to ban farrowing crates
Together with Farmwatch we have released a brand new investigation into pig farming in New Zealand. Using both hidden camera footage and virtual reality technology, we’ve created a ground-breaking and New Zealand first look at what life is like for pigs who are confined to a cage.
The footage was obtained by Farmwatch at a pig factory farm in the Waikato, using both hidden and hand-held cameras. It shows mother pigs (sows) confined in farrowing crates, in which they are unable to turn around for weeks on end and can even struggle to lie down. Their extreme boredom causes them to repeatedly bite at the bars and one sow is shown desperately trying to escape.
The unique immersive experience of viewing this footage obtained by 360 degree-cameras through virtual reality allows a powerful insight into what life is like for sows imprisoned in farrowing crates. The footage shows a farrowing crate from inside and the interior can be viewed from all angles.
“Suffering of animals on New Zealand pig farms is sadly common place. Despite continual public outcries over the years, sows are still confined in metal cages little wider than themselves, living a life of misery,” says SAFE campaigns director Mandy Carter. “Virtual reality will allow the public to experience what NZ Pork would rather they did not see. Now, with the 360-degree footage, people can see for themselves and understand the desperation and boredom these animals experience every day.”
Following our earlier campaign, sow stalls (in which pigs were held throughout their pregnancies), were banned on cruelty grounds in 2010. Farrowing crates subject sows to the same mental deprivation and emotional stress. It is time for the current government to take action to uphold the law in New Zealand and ban these inhumane crates, as the pork industry has shown it is not going to change without pressure.
We are calling for an immediate ban on farrowing crates and have launched a petition calling on the government to ensure mother pigs stop being confined in cages.
21 September 2017