For Immediate Release:
17 September 2021
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]
Pradeep Ranjan Doley Barman; [email protected]
Karnataka Animal Welfare Board Circular Says the Use of Gestation and Farrowing Crates in Pig Farming Violates Animal Protection Laws
Bengaluru – Following an appeal from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the Karnataka Animal Welfare Board (KAWB) has issued a circular directing all district deputy directors to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and use of cruel gestation and farrowing crates in pig farming.
Such crates are controversial features of intensive pig farming. 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 are used to confine pregnant pigs. Pigs 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 they contain small side rooms for piglets.
The KAWB circular explained that both types of crates deprive pigs of sufficient space. Because mother pigs and piglets aren’t able to move, they’re forced to live amid their own faeces and urine, which leads to pressure sores.
The Karnataka government order is available for download upon request.
“PETA India commends the Karnataka government for its action, which sets a precedent for the entire country and will improve the quality of life of countless pigs,” says PETA India Advocacy Associate Pradeep Ranjan Doley Barman. “PETA India reminds everyone that they can help stop all suffering of pigs simply by deciding not to eat them, as the use of crates is just one horrific practice, in addition to being transported in severely crowded vehicles to the slaughterhouse, where they are killed by being stabbed in the chest.”
In its appeal, PETA India noted that the National Research Centre on Pig deem gestation and farrowing crates illegal, as they violate Section 11(1)(e) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Both types of crates are so narrow that mother pigs are denied even basic movement. As such they are deprived of 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 extreme stress and frustration caused by this severe confinement result in abnormal behaviour, such as constantly biting at the enclosure bars or continuously “chewing” the air.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – notes that pigs are intelligent animals who shouldn’t be exploited and that ending the use of gestation and farrowing crates eliminates one of the cruellest practices on intensive pig factory farms.