Making kind choices in your everyday life.

Factory Farming of Pigs

Posted by on Nov 8, 2012 in Factory Farming, Pigs | 1 comment

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. – Sir Winston Churchill.

Pigs are gorgeous, intelligent and social animals. They are also one of the most abused animals on this earth and urgently in need of our help.
What is wrong

Human desire for cheap pork, bacon, ham etc has led to factory farming on a massive scale and dreadful, widespread cruelty. The following information about factory farming is kept well hidden by the industry, for good reason.

Animal Australia’s wonderful Make It Possible campaign explains more.

•    94% of pigs bred for their meat live in a factory farmed environment and will have felt nothing but concrete under their feet by the time they are slaughtered.
•    These smart, interested animals live in worlds devoid of anything to bring them joy – no sunlight, no mud to wallow in or grass to forage in.

•    Bits of their bodies (tails, teeth and testicles) are cut off with no pain relief. This cruelty is legal under the highly ambiguous and ineffectual Codes of Practice but woul be illegal if was performed on your family dog. Logical ?

•    There is little to no scrutiny within the piggery and abattoir walls leading to secretly filmed abuse of pigs from sadistic workers. In 2012 three piggeries in NSW were found to be engaging in hideously cruel practices – Wally’s Piggery in Yass, Tennessee Piggery in Young and Allains Piggery in Blainey Creek. In each instance undercover footage was obtained by Animal Liberation. Read more here.

•    Sow stalls and Farrowing crates.  84 % of the 350,000 mother pigs in Australia spend some of their pregnancy in a metal enclosure only barely bigger than her body. One third spend their entire 16 week pregnancy in one. Here she remains, unable to turn around, bored to insanity and suffering physically due to lack of excercise. Before having her piglets she is moved to an even smaller farrowing crate until she gives birth to her piglets who she cannot interact with, defying every mothering instinct she has.  Her babies are taken away to be fattened and slaughtered and she is then impregnated again and again and this never ending nightmare continues for her until she is slaughtered when she can no longer produce piglets.

•   Just imagine being put inside a cage where you could just stand up and just lie down but nothing else. You would have nothing to look at or do to occupy your time. Imagine being like this for 1 hour…now imagine 1 day….imagine a week. Impossible hey ? Now imagine being like this for 4 months. Incomprehensible. But, right now, as you read this, millions of sows around the world are experiencing this.

Note the words on her sign

•    For an animal with the intelligence of a 3 year old child, it is shameful that laws in Australia do not protect these animals. The Code of Practice are welfare recommendations only which are not enforced.

•    Sow stalls and Farrowing Crates are designed to keep piglet losses at a minimum and are disappointingly supported by the Australian Veterinarians Association. This is obviously economic rationalising with zero welfare considerations for the sows. There are alternative management practices which help prevent piglet mortality (from the sows rolling onto the piglets) which other countries use such as seen here: Free Farrowing Video.

•    Australia has not kept in line with animal welfare reforms around the world. Sow stalls are already banned in the UK, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Finland and Florida in the US.  It will be banned in EU countries from January 2013 (aside from the first 4 weeks of the pregnancy).

•    Australia imports enormous amounts of frozen pork products (apparently about 30,000 per tonnes per week !). There does not appear to be any vetting process for humanely sourced food from overseas nor does it support Australian farmers. So, when you next buy your ham sandwich from the local cafe, there is a big chance that it came from overseas from countries with lower animal welfare standards than our own.

•    Remember that if it is not stated on the packet / restaurant etc, then you can assume that your pork product is from a factory farmed pig and your money is supporting the practice of factory farming.

•    Excellent information about factory farming of pigs can be found via the following links.


Australian Pig Farmers

Animal Welfare Labels





Compassion In World Farming

Next post………what you can do to help !

One Comment

Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Melinda Duncan

    Great info Ing. If only we could get this message out to the masses without them putting their heads in the sand. Remember, we are revolutionists. There will be a time when humans will look back on these atrocities with horror. Lets hope that time is not too far away.

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