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That this House notes that 70 per cent. of the UK's mothering sows are confined to farrowing crates (metal barred cages) for one week before giving birth and between three and four weeks afterwards and that this happens more than twice a year; further notes that close confinement means that sows cannot turn around, and can only stand, lie down, and suckle their piglets; and that the cage, little bigger than their bodies, can lead to painful sores from rubbing on the bars and can also cause stereotypic behaviour and total mental collapse; further notes that sows are neither able to reach their piglets nor get away from them; which can also lead to aggression and higher mortality; further notes that although the farrowing crate is designed to stop piglets being crushed by the mothers, piglet mortality is currently high at 11 per cent. in the UK, and that overall piglet mortality is lower on non-close confined outdoor units; further notes that sow mortality is also lower in outdoor systems; believes that the fact that 30 per cent. of the UK's sows already farrow outdoors demonstrates that this is not only desirable for animal welfare reasons, but can also be justified in financial terms; congratulates the Government for previously taking a lead in Europe by banning the sow stall in 1999; applauds Viva!, the animal welfare group, for its campaign to educate and encourage the public to press for a ban on farrowing crates; and calls on the Government to take steps to ban the farrowing crate.
Total number of signatures: 102
Showing 102 out of 102