Pigs Don’t Deserve to Suffer

BBJemhobUTgfahi-556x313-noPadThese Sows 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 and all SPCA’s 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.

Pigs are incredibly intelligent and learn quickly. They pick up tricks faster than dogs. They rank 4th in animal intelligence behind Chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants. Piglets learn their names by two to three weeks of age and respond when called. They are well aware of their living circumstances and know that the crates within which they “live” is cruel and inhumane. They are very social animals and form close bonds with each other and other species.

Contrary to popular belief pigs are naturally very clean animals, keeping their ablutions far away from their living and eating area. They cannot, in any which way or form, do this when they are kept in a sow crate. It goes against everything they are predisposed to do, from birth. As well as the fact that they cannot roll around in the mud to cool their skin or keep their skin protected from the sun (the dried mud protects them against the sun), they cannot even huddle together to sleep, which they also love to do.

SPCA promotes the following Five Freedoms for all animals:-

  1. Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
  2. Freedom from discomfort
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour
  5. Freedom from fear and distress

And a sixth one for inherently wild animals – the Freedom to be free.

Together, we have the power to make enormous changes in the lives of pigs by asking the pork industry to get rid of sow crates for good, by sending a powerful message that we expect that only humanely raised pork products are sold in South Africa.  If you would like to sign the petition saying NO to Sows in crates, please go to www.nspca.co.za  and pledge your support.  Isn’t it time to care about those who make the bacon?

Until next time, take care

Tess Fernandez, PRO for uMngeni SPCA

Meet the team

Njabula Hlongwane

Njabula HlongwaneNjabula is a Receptionist and a Trainee Inspector. He helps out at the front desk with general office work and assists Jean and Linda when needed. He has been with the uMngeni SPCA for 18 months and is our friendly man who always has a smile on his face when you meet him.

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