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Imagine being confined to a steel pen without enough room to even turn around, being forced to stand and lay on a slatted floor, and living a couple feet above your own waste. For more than 5 million pigs in the United States, this is a horrendous reality.
Every year, millions of breeding sows are locked in gestation crates at 7 months of age, impregnated, and forced to live out their lives standing in their crates waiting to give birth. Not only are they unable to turn around or move, they suffer from respiratory illnesses caused by living a few feet above their feces, and with no stimulation or ability to play, these incredibly clever animals develop severe neurotic issues. Once she gives birth, the pig is moved to an equally restrictive crate to nurse, but is unable to turn around to see her piglets for the two weeks or so before they are taken away.
This cycle continues over and over, year after year, until the sow is used up and sent to be slaughtered. During that time they are isolated, suffering from boredom and fear, and are unable to even meet the piglets they are forced to have. It is a horrific form of torture, and it cant continue!
Twelve states have banned gestation crates in the United States, but that is not enough! This inhumane practice should be banned across the country. Join us in calling upon the United States Department of Agriculture to end the use of gestation crates!
To the Secretary of Agriculture,
Each year, millions of sows are forced into gestation crates, a tiny cage that doesnt even provide them room to turn around. They live above their own waste, and are forced to give birth over and over before being discarded. Its a life of boredom, isolation, and fear that would be considered severe animal abuse in any other setting.
Gestation crates are harmful enough to have prompted 12 states to ban their use, but that is far from enough. Americas largest pork producing states still allow the use of gestation crates, despite mounting evidence that more humane practices are not only more effective, but more profitable. The time has come to put a ban on gestation crates across the United States.
Two of the United States largest pork producers, Cargill and Smithfield Foods, have already started cutting ties with farmers that use gestation crates, a clear sign that it is time to end their usage.
Secretary, I urge you to put an end to gestation crates across the country.