Sow Crates

Campaign Update – What WE are doing

Our petition has served in letting the pork industry know that we oppose cruel farming practices. The Campaign's aim was to convince the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to establish a regulation, forcing pig farmers and the industry to have gestation crates phased out by the end of 2016. The Department stated that should we reach an agreed number of signatories (4500) that they would meet with us to discuss a way forward. This target was reached within three months of the start of the campaign. On 1 July 2013 a meeting was held with representatives from DAFF where it was agreed that the Department would consult with the pig farmers. They requested time to engage widely.

A follow-up meeting was held one month before the one year anniversary of the Campaign (17 January 2014), where DAFF advised that they are in the process of reviewing submissions from the Industry and will consult with the NSPCA once this is completed.
While the petition has now been closed, our campaign continues and we stand steadfast in bringing about change for pregnant sows.

What YOU can do

  • Educate your family, friends and colleagues

Together We Do Make A Difference

Say “NO” to the cruel Confinement of Sows

If you would like to adopt one of our dynamic cruelty prevention and action projects from as little as R50 per month please click here to download a debit order activation form ...

Alternately, should you wish to support our OPERATION FARM ANIMAL PROJECT with a once-off donation please click here for various easy to donate options. Please use the reference OP FARM. Section 18A tax receipt available on request.

We would never treat our pets this way, and we shouldn't let farm animals suffer like this either

Pigs are highly social and intelligent animals.

They are commonly raised as livestock by farmers for meat in intensive systems where they are denied freedom of movement, deprived of natural behaviour to interact with others of their kind and have no opportunities to forage and root.

A pregnant sow will be kept in a sow crate for the greater part of her gestation period – 107 days. A sow crate is a metal crate usually with a bare floor, which is so narrow that the sow cannot turn around and can only stand up and lie down with difficulty.
We know and accept that these animals are being raised for food. As an animal welfare organisation the National Council of SPCAs believes that animals should be treated humanely while they are on the farm, while they are transported and when they are slaughtered.
Compassionate choices are a critical step toward improving the welfare of pigs in South Africa.

YOU helped make a difference

In February 2013 the NSPCA launched a campaign to bring pressure to bear on the pork industry to get rid of gestation crates for good. Thousands of supporters in South Africa and around the world signed our online petition and joined us in sending a powerful message that we expect that only humanely raised pork products are sold in South Africa.

South African celebrities, known for their best selling cookery books "Zhoosh!”, Jacqui and Jeremy Mansfield, also added their voices.

Jeremy is a former breakfast show radio presenter and both are known not only for their TV appearances but above all for their caring and compassionate approach to animals and for being unafraid of going public to state their beliefs with regard to the treatment of animals. The National Council of SPCAs thanks them for their support and commitment.

"We don't believe that animals should endure unnecessary and avoidable cruel practices, keeping pigs in sow crates is unnecessary and avoidable.
Most forward-thinking, progressive countries have or are in the process of banning the use of these metal cages which greatly restrict the movement of sows and we believe South Africa should make them illegal too. These metal cages are cruel and completely restrict movement and normal life that any sentient being is entitled to.
Considering just how intelligent pigs are, this extreme and brutal confinement makes sow crates even worse.
People should be able to make informed choices; we are not saying stop eating bacon and other pork products but we are saying if you had a choice wouldn't you rather buy from a producer who doesn't use sow crates? We would. Hello major retailers are you listening?
We would love to see legislation passed that bans the use of sow crates.
The physical, behavioural and emotional abuse sow crates perpetuate makes them abhorrent to us and we lend our support to any efforts to ban them.
How can we call ourselves human is we allow this inhumane treatment to happen?
Pigs are smart, social animals and to isolate them in sow crates where even the most basic, natural movement like lying down or turning around is impossible is beyond barbaric.
When Jacqui and I began to buy free-range and organic products and request them from retailers and restaurants, we were told it was just a fad, look at how this market has grown!
We know pork products are possible without farmers using sow crates.”

Updated: 9 March 2015

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