Right now in Canada, more than one million pregnant pigs are locked in cages barley larger than their own bodies. Known as gestation crates, each one of these cages confines a mother pig so tightly that she can't even turn around for almost her entire life. But now we have a chance to change that.
A recently released draft Code of Practice for the pig industry recommends huge improvements for the welfare of the animals raised in the pork industry. But the new Code also has a huge loophole which will allow these intelligent, sensitive creatures to be locked in tiny crates for up to five weeks at a time every few months -- almost a third of their pregnancies spent in intensive confinement.
This is our chance to make a difference for these animals! Fill in your details to sign your name to the statement. We will submit your name, along with thousands of other Canadians, with this statement to the NFACC.
As a Canadian consumer, I am horrified to know that more than one million breeding sows are intensively confined in gestation crates -- cages so small the pigs cannot turn around -- for most of their lives. So I was thrilled to learn that Canada is at last considering a new Code of Practice for pigs that includes a mandatory phase out of gestation crates.
I am deeply concerned, however, that the current proposal would still allow for pregnant sows to be confined in gestation crates for up to five weeks at a time -- an amount that equates to almost a third of their pregnancies. There is no scientific justification for confining animals for this length of time, and studies show that any issues that arise from group housing can be managed with good animal husbandry.
Consumers, retailers, governments and industry groups are driving the movement away from cruel intensive confinement systems in our farms. A partial ban is not enough -- please ensure that the final Code of Practice includes a complete elimination of gestation crates.
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