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73% say ban farrowing crates

13 Jul 18

73% say ban farrowing crates

A new nationwide poll conducted by Horizon Research finds large numbers of New Zealanders concerned about the use of farrowing crates.

Just over three in four New Zealanders felt that the statement, “The use of farrowing crates can cause suffering to sows and it is not worth causing this suffering when there are alternative systems,” was closest to their own views on farrowing crates.

The poll forms part of the submission on farrowing crates given by SAFE to the Primary Production Select Committee in June 2018. SAFE is asking for legislation to ban crate cruelty.

The poll showed that 73% of people support a ban on farrowing crates in New Zealand. Only 7% were opposed to the ban, and the rest were unsure or needed more information.

"SAFE is not surprised that such a high percentage of people believe this practice should be banned. Our petition was the largest petition Government has received in five years. New Zealanders overwhelmingly want to see an end to the cruelty that is factory farming,” says head of campaigns Marianne Macdonald.

SAFE’s submission says the close confinement of sows within farrowing crates is one of the most serious animal welfare problems in New Zealand today. Each year, around 15,000 sows are confined within metal cages barely larger than their own bodies. 

SAFE’s submission includes evidence about the availability of effective alternatives to farrowing crates which improve the welfare of sows. Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have already banned farrowing crates and roughly 40% of New Zealand farms don’t use them.

The current Government revealed it would not support many factory-farm methods. Before the 2017 election, both the Labour Party and the Greens pledged to end the use of farrowing crates.

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