Following an appeal from PETA India, the government body Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has written to the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying requesting action be taken against the use of gestation and farrowing crates in pig farming nationwide. The letter follows circulars recently issued by the governments of Goa and Madhya Pradesh prohibiting these crates after action by PETA India. The Punjab government had previously issued a similar circular. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s National Research Centre on Pig has also confirmed that contraptions in which pigs do not have a reasonable opportunity for movement (such as gestation and farrowing crates) are illegal as per Section 11(1)(e) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Gestation crates (aka “sow stalls”) are metal cages essentially the size of a pig with concrete or slatted floors, which leave the animals unable to turn around or even stand up without difficulty. They’re used to confine pregnant pigs, who are typically transferred to farrowing crates to give birth and are kept in them until their piglets are taken away. Farrowing crates are fundamentally the same as gestation crates, except that they contain small side enclosures for piglets.
Gestation and farrowing crates deny mother pigs everything that’s natural and important to them, such as opportunities to forage, build a nest for their young, socialise with other pigs, and regulate their body temperature (such as by wallowing in mud). The crates also force pigs to live amid their own faeces and urine. The extreme stress and frustration caused by this severe confinement results in abnormal behaviour, such as continual biting at the enclosure bars or “chewing” the air.
Support Our Work