Science and Sense

A report from Voiceless presents compelling evidence that government sanctioned 'sow stalls' inflict suffering on pregnant pigs. These small cages are barely larger than the sow’s body and prevent her from turning around.

In Australia, most pregnant pigs (sows) are confined individually in sow stalls for at least some of each 16 week pregnancy. 

A report written for Voiceless by Dr Malcolm Caulfield presents a comprehensive review of the available science on the welfare effects of these devices.

Download Science and Sense: the case for abolishing sow stalls.

The report was reviewed by five leading Professors of animal science who, along with Dr Caulfield, comprise Voiceless’s Scientific Expert Advisory Council. It is also endorsed by the World Society for the Protection of Animals, Compassion in World Farming and Animals Australia.

Science and Sense confirms what any reasonable observer would already assume: sow stalls inflict physical and psychological suffering on these sentient animals.

The pork industry has proudly repeated the defence that it has voluntarily undertaken to ban sow stalls. In fact, this is no ban at all. Australian Pork Limited’s so called ‘ban’ would still allow sows to be confined in stalls for up to 12 consecutive days of each pregnancy. This time limit would be impossible to enforce in any meaningful way and APL’s decision is in no way legally binding on individual pig producers.

Only a legislated ban will resign these cruel devices to history. Science and Sense gives legislators the evidence they need to do just that. 

Read the full report here.

Your case for the abolition of the individual sow stall for routine use at any state of the animals’ reproductive cycle is founded on a thorough and unbiased review of published evidence. I am therefore happy to endorse the document and give my full support to your campaign.

Professor John Webster
Emeritus Professor of Animal Husbandry, University of Bristol.

Need the facts fast? Read a concise overview in the Voiceless Briefing on sow stalls.