Just how smart and sensitive are pigs?
Pigs are highly intelligent and curious. Research shows that pigs dream, have long memories, respond to names given to them by people (as do dogs), can solve mazes and other puzzles, and like to play just for fun. Newcastle University has demonstrated that pigs experience complex emotions, and can feel optimistic or pessimistic, according to how they are being treated. Pigs suffer tremendously within factory farms.
- Around 650,000 pigs are killed each year in New Zealand, most of them farmed in intensive production systems (known as factory farms).
- Factory farming systems deprive pigs of the ability to satisfy their basic behavioural needs, and cause stresses leading to both physical and mental illnesses.
- Pigs can live for 15 years or more. Farmed pigs are killed at 4-6 months.
- Approximately 31,500 breeding sows are kept in New Zealand at any one time. They become ‘uneconomic’ and are killed after 3-4 years of non-stop breeding.