pitiful pregnant pigs need your help

Submitted by Guest on Wed, 2011-01-19 10:45

pigs in stalls: pic- huha.org.nzpigs in stalls: pic- huha.org.nzDear Friends,

South Africa’s pregnant pigs are trapped in metal cages that prevent any movement forwards, backwards or sideways – not just for a day, or a week, or a month. But, for life!

Their suffering is relentless. View this footage of pregnant pigs hidden away on a factory farm in the Cape Winelands.

Please join Compassion in World Farming (SA) in its call to Mr Simon Streicher, CEO of the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation, to join the world movement to phase out sow stalls.

As consumer pressure helps pregnant pigs break free of sow stalls around the world, the future for South Africa’s breeding sows who produce the 10 000 young pigs that are slaughtered weekly in SA for their ham and bacon, remains a secret.

Late in 2010, Australian Pork Limited voluntarily agreed to heed the call by consumers in that country, to begin a phase out of sow stalls for pregnant pigs*. Sow stalls are the metal ‘straightjackets’ that prevent the aggression and chaos that would result from overcrowding, as thousands of pregnant pigs are crammed under one roof in order to reduce production costs.

Sow stalls are already banned in the UK and Sweden and are officially being phased out in New Zealand, Tasmania, the European Union and some states in the USA, namely Florida, Arizona and California.

On 19th November 2010, following Australia’s voluntarily phase-out by Australian Pork limited, Compassion in World Farming (SA) wrote to Mr Simon Streicher, Chief Executive Officer of the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation, asking if South African pregnant sows could look forward to a phase-out of sow stalls too – a move that would enable them to use the legs with which they were born, after half a century of cruel immobilisation.

In a letter dated 7th January 2010, Mr Streicher replied that it would be "inappropriate" to comment on this as discussions on welfare standards were on-going. Compassion in World Farming (South Africa) would like to suggest that discussions have been going on too long, and with too much secrecy. The South African consumer has a right to know how the animals providing their food live and die. In fact, in April, when the new Consumer Protection Act comes into force, keeping consumers ignorant of production methods that may be "unconscionable", will be against the law. So, please Mr Streicher, tell us: are sow stalls going to be phased out in SA or not?

Please write to Mr Streicher. Tell him respectfully that we are depending on him to introduce a phase out of sow stalls in favour of group housing on straw for pregnant pigs. His email address is: info@sapork.com

* View story on voluntary phase-out in Australia here

Sincerely, and with thanks for speaking up for those whose pitiful torment we do not see and whose voices we cannot hear.

Tozie Zokufa
Deputy Editor: Animal Voice
S A Representative: Compassion in World Farming
Marketing Manager: Humane Education Trust