Pigs are intelligent, social creatures, which like to root in the dirt, wallow in the mud and forage for food. However, most pigs that are born and raised in conventional systems in Australia are not able to express these normal behaviours. Instead, piglets are subjected to painful husbandry procedures like tail docking and teeth clipping without anaesthetic and mother pigs (sows) are intensively confined in narrow stalls and farrowing crates, so small they cannot even turn around.
Your choices at the supermarket can make a huge difference to the lives of pigs in Australia. Take action by shopping humane. Look for RSPCA Approved pork products or, alternatively, sow stall-free, bred free range or free-range pork.
In 2010, the first steps were taken to address the intensive confinement of pigs with the Tasmanian Government and then the pig industry itself announcing that sow stalls would be phased out from 2017.
On conventional pig farms, towards the end of pregnancy, sows are moved to a farrowing crate to give birth. Pregnant sows are highly motivated to engage in nesting behaviours, but they are frustrated from carrying out this behaviour in farrowing crates, which do not provide bedding or nesting material. A sow may be confined in a farrowing crate for up to 4 weeks.
Find out more about RSPCA Approved Farming