28 March 2003; immediate use
UNHAPPY MOTHER'S DAY: CAMPAIGNERS
HIGHLIGHT PIG CRUELTY
As part of a national Day of Action, local
campaigners will be highlighting the suffering of mother pigs
on Saturday with a giant "Unhappy Mother's Day Card".
The colourful, professionally-produced A2 size-card features
broken hearts, a "cheesy" rhyme and a picture of
a sow confined to the cruel farrowing crate. The campaigners
will be calling on local stores to stop selling inhumanely-produced
pork, ham and bacon products.
The protest is part of a national Day of Action co-ordinated
by vegetarian group Viva! to highlight the issue of the farrowing
crate. The crate is a metal frame in which pregnant pigs are
confined immediately before giving birth and are forced to
remain until their piglets are weaned a month later. Unable
to turn around, mother their piglets naturally or take more
than a couple of steps, sows suffer from stress, pain and
the frustration of their powerful maternal instincts in the
crate. Their piglets, meanwhile, are confined to the tiny
"creep" area of the crate, deprived of all stimulation.
Undercover video footage shot by Viva! over the last year
shows pigs in filthy, squalid conditions; dying and dead piglets;
untreated lesions; barren, airless sheds and pigs biting the
bars of their crates. These are typical conditions for around
80% of Britain's half-a-million breeding sows. Viva! believes
the crate must be banned immediately.
Viva! campaigner, Alistair Currie says: "This Mother's
Day, tens of thousands of mother pigs will be confined to
cages just inches bigger than their own bodies. Imagine the
frustration and agony of a mother forced for thirty days to
stare at a blank wall; unable to tend to her young, unable
to take more than a couple of tiny steps. On the day we celebrate
motherhood, we ask people to spare a thought for those thousands
of mothers denied the most basic right of all. This terrible
practice takes place behind the closed doors of the factory
farm. The farmers, the government and the supermarkets don't
want you to know about it. Today we will expose the truth."
Notes for Editors
Videos, photographs and further information about the farrowing
crate are available from Viva!, tel 0845 456 8220; email email@example.com