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‘End the Cage Age’: Major new undercover investigation reveals cruelty, torment and frustration of sows in European farms

The investigation reveals that pigs spend nearly half their adult lives in cages so small they prevent practically all movement apart from standing up or lying down in their own excrement and urine.

RONNIKA A. MCFALL: A major new investigation by Compassion in World Farming released on July 7, 2022 reveals the immense suffering of sows in cage systems on European farms—including those supplying products popular in the U.S. such as “premium” Parma and Bayonne hams…

Powerful new footage obtained as part of an investigation at 16 farms across Italy, Spain, France and Poland reveals the cruelty, torment and frustration that sows are forced to suffer in sow stalls and farrowing crates.

The investigation reveals that sows:

  • spend nearly half their adult lives in cages so small they prevent practically all movement apart from standing up or lying down
  • endure lying in their own excrement and urine, something they would naturally avoid
  • experience the torment of being unable to properly nurture their young because of the restriction of the cages
  • resort to abnormal behaviors such as bar biting and sham chewing because they are so frustrated…

In reaction to the findings, the animal welfare and environmental NGO is sending a summary of the investigation findings to agriculture ministers across Europe and is urging supporters to send emails calling on them to press for a promised European Union ban on caged farming without delay.

Ben Williamson, U.S. Executive Director said: “Our investigation reveals that these sows are forced to live unimaginably miserable lives. They can’t move around and properly nurture their young, and they’re so frustrated they resort to abnormal behaviors like bar biting and sham chewing.

“That’s why we’re urging European agriculture ministers to introduce the ban they promised without delay, and we will continue to campaign until we End the Cage Age. As goes Europe, so often goes the rest of the world.”… The caging practices documented in Compassion’s investigation are banned in several U.S. states, such as California and Massachusetts…

Last year, the European Commission publicly committed to introducing legislation to end the caging of European farmed animals. This commitment was made in response to the European Citizens’ Initiative “End the Cage Age,” led by Compassion, which gathered 1.4 million verified signatures from citizens across Europe and was the first successful initiative for farmed animals. SOURCE…


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