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Factcheck request on Pig cages.

There is a petition doing the rounds calling for a ban on pig cages.
I would expect them to already be banned in the UK, if not the EU, but I am finding a lot of my expectations getting let down these days.

What's the word from those who know?

I thought pig cages went out years ago in this country. Pigs have to have toys to play with if they are housed full time and they must have bedding and a separate dunging area as I understand it. Straw acts as toys and bedding, again, as I understand it. I regret to say that when I was a pigman nothing like those rules existed. An insulated bedding area of concrete and a separate slatted dung passage, food through a raised feed passage was dropped into the trough twice daily. Water supplied via a water bowl. Not the same in the wet feed house where there was no water plumbed in, all they got was on their food. and these wet feed pigs were only fed once on Sunday, the rest of the week was twice a day. Things have improved for pigs since I was a pigman!!

I thought pig cages went out years ago in this country.

I would certainly hope so. Do we know owt about elsewhere?

Are you talking about farrowing crates?
AFAIK they still get used.

Sow crates were banned in the UK in 1999.
Farrowing crates are still in use.

Some online petitions have merit, some have less. I suspect one that is asking 'All governments' to do something isn't going to be massively successful.

Farrowing crates save piglets' lives, better than Solari type farrowing pens. I have used both, but together they are better for the early life of the piglet to be born in a farrowing crate, as piglets are so vulnerable from birth to 2 weeks, then a Solari farrowing pen used till weaning, where there is no sow restriction, but side rails keep the piglets out of the way of the sow's feet and if she decides to lay down against the wall, when crushing would be inevitable. A friend who had a small pig unit had crates for farrowing to weaning at 3 weeks then the piglets went into cages and fed heavy duty food; the sow then went from her farrowing crate to a sow tether and got back into pig asap. with the process starting again. This was all the rage when I was a pigman in the 1960's. For the welfare of the pig thank goodness all has changed. A sow's life was just one of pregnancy and milking, with very little interest available, but for some bars and food to chew on. All was usually indoors with no outlook. Most sows mustered 3 litters and some as many as 4, but the mundane monotony. Fattening stock today is housed often but there has to be toys usually in the form of straw, or a hanging chain, or whatever they can't destroy and swallow which will cause harm.
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