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]