In the U.S., nearly all of our country's 5.5 million breeding pigs are crammed into 2 foot by 7 foot "gestation crates." The crates are so small, pigs are unable to turn around or lie down comfortably, and the sows often suffer extreme physical and psychological harm as a result. Although now banned in 9 states, the European Union, New Zealand, and Australia, gestation crates are still legal in 41 U.S. states.
There are numerous more humane and affordable ways to raise sows. Group housing pens, for example, allow sows to interact and move around freely. Pens can be specifically designed to reduce feed aggression. Moreover, a reasonable transition period from gestation crates to group pens can be highly cost-effective and pass on minimal costs to consumers. Major pork-producing companies such as Smithfield and Maple Leaf are already making this transition.
Confining dogs, cats, or people in gestation crates would be incredibly cruel. The same is true for pigs, who are highly intelligent and social animals that suffer greatly from confinement.
Urge the Vermont Speaker to pass legislation banning gestation crates, and help reduce suffering!