Sow stalls are metal cages used to confine individual sows during pregnancy. Fully grown sows cannot move freely in the stalls and can only stand up or lie down. This confinement causes the sows immense stress and can lead to other health problems.
Australian sows can spend between one week and the duration of their pregnancy (sixteen weeks) confined in a sow stall, unable to turn around, move sideways or properly lie down.
Once a sow has given birth to her litter and her piglets have been weaned, she will be continuously re-impregnated before being killed at about two years of age.
New Zealand, United Kingdom and Sweden have already implemented legally enforceable bans on sow stalls. Partial bans have also been implemented in the EU, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Finland and nine US States. The ACT has implemented a full ban.
Coles are voluntarily phasing out the use of sow stalls and Australian Pork Limited (APL) has agreed to a voluntary phase out of sow stalls by 2017.
Victorian Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson, Sue Pennicuik MP has introduced a bill into state parliament to ban sow stalls.
Sow stalls have been fully or partially banned in 33 countries, nine US states and the ACT because they are cruel and prevent sows from engaging in natural behaviours. Consumers are demanding an end to cruel practices and intensive farming techniques.
While some in the pork industry are phasing out sow stalls, and some retailers are going sow stall free, the law needs to catch up and make the use of sow stalls illegal in Victoria.
Authorised by S. Ratnam, 45 William St, Melbourne VIC 3000