Ban Farrowing Crates in U.S. Hog Production

Farrowing Crate in use on a hog farm

Target: U.S.D.A., Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services

Goal: To urge the U.S.D.A to deem farrowing crates as inhuman and legislate against their use in commercial pig farming in America.

Farrowing crates are small metal cages designed to restrict the movement of sows for the duration of the nursing period after she births a litter. She is moved to this restrictive cage days before delivering her litter and remains there until the piglets are weaned. During this time, the sow is incapable of standing or walking and is denied the opportunity to free herself from her nursing piglets. Put simply, the farrowing crate is designed to convert a living animal into a piece of production equipment.

In addition to the negative affects farrowing crates have on the physical welfare of the sow, they also place her under an extreme amount of stress as she is prevented from following her natural nesting and maternal instincts while her piglets are denied the socialization that is required for their overall well being.

These crates are said to be used to prevent fighting among pregnant sows and to decrease piglet mortality rates which can have a financial impact on the commercial pig trade, however studies is Switzerland and Denmark are proving that there is an insignificant change in mortality rates when farms move to more pig friendly means of farrowing. The use of crates was disallowed in Switzerland in 2007 once again placing the United States behind the curve in terms of its response time in matters of livestock welfare.

There are ways to successfully produce hogs without using farrowing crates as has been proven by our European neighbors. By signing the petition below you will help urge the U.S.D.A. to take a stand against animal cruelty in the commercial pig trade.


Dear Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, (APHIS), of the United States Department of Agriculture,

The use of farrowing crates in U.S. hog farming must come to an end. These barbaric torture devices trade animal welfare for higher profit margins and have not proven to improve piglet production in the countries that have already restricted or disallowed their use.

The are more humane ways of keeping sows and piglets that can be implemented with little decrease in profit and production for the farmer. We ask that you please take the time to research the alternative methods being used in Switzerland and Denmark to confirm these findings as the welfare of the animals is a grave concern.

In keeping with your mission to promote agricultural health and administer the Animal Welfare Act it would be prudent for you to take a closer look at the statistics compiled by our European neighbors and write legislation that would put an end to this type of animal torture.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Yes, I like this petition… alot Signed and hopefully it happens:)

  2. rhonda blankenship says:

    eat some lettus, beans,rice or nuts, chew your toenails for all i care…

  3. Just because hogs are destined for slaughter shouldn’t mean they’re abused during their lives before becoming ham and bacon. Letting the animals breed in accordance with their instincts yields healthier and tastier product.

  4. as usual! more horrific treatment of animals. They were not put on this earth for human profit! let alone abusing the poor things. digusting human behaviour

  5. Cruelty is by definition unnecessary, and is therefore inexcusable. Profit is no excuse for it. It distresses the victims, and any other decent person. It should all be ended, permanently.

  6. BOB LOVES PIGZ says:

    YOU ARE WRONG! YOU ARE SOOOOO DUMBBB. LIKE FOREAL. You need an education and JESUS!!! God put animals on this earth for a reason! Dumbo

  7. Bonnie Taylor says:

    @Bob – If torture is part of your gods plan, you may want to find a new one. Eat all the meat you want, but if treating your food humanely while it’s alive is asking too much, you may have the right god for you, after all.

  8. Your article and letter are somewhat misleading…..first sows can stand up as well as move forward and backward in the farrowing crate, it is much more sanitary than leaving them in a pen! Some sows are aggresive by nature…..If you have never seen a sow give birth to 13 piglets and get up and turn around and eat them one by one like crackers you probably shouldn’t be so quick to comment………I do not believe in gestation crates….I do think farrowing in a crate and staying there for a few days until the piglets can get around safely would be a much better approach……would you bring your new baby home from the hospital and leave it on the living room floor????

  9. The lack of education behind your statement is remarkable. Number one I would like to know how this is “inhuman” “inhumane” is probably the term you are looking for, might want to proofread! Also sows are not denied the ability to stand up in farrowing crates. Sows are not meat producers. Breeding animals produce low quality meat, therefore all of the comments about them being destined for slaughter are inaccurate. These are designed to protect the piglets from being stepped on, or otherwise killed by the mother. Many sows lack good maternal abilities and it is not uncommon for them to kill some or even all of their piglets. If you want to make an argument become more informed before doing so.

  10. Many people have lost touch of how agriculture works nowadays. It’s just plain ignorance. Maybe people should do some research before saying, ‘this is terrible. It should be banned.’ No. People don’t understand the process.

    I’ve been raised on a farm all my life and I’ve been around cattle and pigs. The point of the crates are to prevent the sows from crushing and eating their piglets. Yes, they do that. And do you want to pay more for pork? By banning crates, production costs will increase. Thus, pork prices will be higher. Don’t go complaining when you have to pay more for pork products.

  11. Cassidy B says:

    Pigs can stand in farrowing crates.. I should know because I’ve raised piglets with a sow in a crate. We also raised one without a farrowing crate, resulting in 3 crushed baby pigs. She was in the crate for 3 weeks and then let out with her piglets when they were quick enough to get out from underneath her. Do some research, or maybe try it yourself before you go writing a one sided article.

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