PIGS IN AUSTRALIA
Australians generally are appalled by animal cruelty and are often unaware that their supermarket purchases support the cruel pork industry.
The pig industry has been clever at keeping it's secrets, knowing that many Australians would refuse to buy pork products if they were informed of the cruelty in factory farms and during the slaughter process.
Pigs are as intelligent as dogs, they are social animals and form strong relationships in small family groups.
Despite this consecutive governments have provided legal exceptions for farmers, to prevent them being prosecuted for animal cruelty, so they can maximise their profits.
Pregnant sows, for example, can be -kept for their entire four month pregnancies in metal stalls not much bigger than their bodies, on concrete floors. They can never turn around, and can only take one step forward or back. The hard concrete and metal can cause skin abrasions. In these concrete prisons sows develop neurotic behaviour such as repeatedly chewing the bars and waving their heads back and forth. Lack of exercise and standing on hard floors causes the sows to become lame. These joint pains are as painful for pigs as they are for humans.
The stalls are so small their legs extend into the neighbouring stall when they lie down, causing great discomfort. As their pregnancies progress, space becomes even more limited.
Sows are moved to even smaller farrowing crates to give birth, and are still surrounded by metal bars. Mothers can't build nests by collecting materials, as their instincts tell them. They cannot interact with their babies even lick or nuzzle them. Hardly able to move, sows are kept in farrowing crates until their piglets are about three weeks old.
In factory farms throughout Australia, the worth of a breeding sow is determined by the number of piglets she can produce each litter. She is allowed to "live" as long as her body can physically endure the demands, of being kept continually pregnant and confined, standing with minimal movement on a hard floor
Female pigs in factory farms are treated as breeding machines. They endure continual cycles of suffering and deprivation. Like all factory farmed animals, behavioural, mental and emotional needs are irrelevant. Exercise for pigs is not allowed. Space means money. They exist as "units" to create profit.
Treatment of piglets
Some 5.5 million piglets are born and raised for pork, ham and bacon each year, in Australia. Piglets are naturally playful and active.
Surgical procedures are carried out on piglets without any pain relief. Teeth are clipped, supposedly so they don't damage their mothers' teats as they suckle. Their tails are cut off so they can't nibble each other's tails from the frustration of their unnatural confinement. This is a painful, often long lasting, condition as there are many nerve endings in their tails, that can be sensitive to bumps and injury. Notches are cut out of their ears. All these procedures cause pain.
Male piglets are castrated, because consumers supposedly complain of "boar taint" in meat that comes from intact animals, although they are slaughtered before becoming sexually mature, at about three months of age. More likely causes of tainted meat is from overcrowding, poor sanitation, low fibre diets and poor management issues. Most farmers still castrate their young boars, without any form of pain relief .These intelligent and sensitive animals' suffering is no different to the family pet.
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