Please write to your MP about the cruel farrowing crate.
The following is a letter you could use:
Dear [Name of MP]
I have great concern over the welfare of pigs raised
in indoor intensive units and ask that you urgently work
towards ending this cruel and offensive method of livestock
production. As a first step, I urge you to demand an immediate
ban on farrowing crates.
With 95 per cent of pigs reared for meat raised in intensive
units and 70 per cent of breeding sows, British agriculture
has created a cruel and unacceptable rearing system which
amounts to mass animal abuse. Early weaning, overcrowding,
lack of bedding and the frustration of natural instincts
has led to a self-perpetuating cycle of stress and ill
health that can be controlled only with the routine use
of drugs, including antibiotics, and painful mutilations
in the form of teeth clipping and tail docking. This is
no longer acceptable in a civilised society. Even a governmental
advisory committee has warned of the threat to human health
from the routine use of antibiotics in agriculture.
Particularly offensive is the use of farrowing crates
to incarcerate expectant and nursing sows. To hold a restless
animal captive for a month in metal bars, which render
movement difficult and prevent her from turning around,
is cruel in the extreme.
The farrowing crate causes severe stress, frustrates
natural mothering instincts and by any objective assessment
amounts to severe animal abuse. Further, piglets are weaned
naturally at about 12 to 13 weeks, however most farmed
piglets are weaned at three to three and a half weeks.
At this young age the piglets still have a strong need
to suckle and deprived of their mother, chew the ears
and tails of their penmates. Also young piglets have considerable
difficulty digesting their feed from weaning until two
months of age. This can result in large amounts of undigested
food reaching the large intestine which allows bacteria,
some harmful to the pig, in the hind gut to ferment this
extra food and grow. These organisms can damage the gut
lining and cause scouring (severe diarrhoea). The farrowing
crate does not benefit mother or piglets - and many alternatives
We therefore urge you to demand an immediate end to its
use. We also urge you to work towards the ending of all
intensive pig production.