Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
The Pig Husbandry (Farrowing) Bill was presented in Parliament this week. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this bill, which represents another vital step towards a ban on the use of farrowing ‘crates’ for pregnant sows. Every year over 200,000 sows are confined in crates for up to five weeks a time, severely restricting their movement and their natural inclination to build ‘nests’. This is justified by the need to protect their piglets from being crushed, but there are far more humane ways of preventing this.
The last Labour Government banned the use of sow stalls in 1999, which means that no British pigs have to spend their whole pregnancy in a cage, but it’s time to end the use of farrowing crates too. The Bill is asking for an immediate ban on new farrowing crate systems and a phase-out by 2027. As it’s a backbench Bill it won’t become law without Government support, so thanks to everyone who’s emailed their MPs about it – let’s keep pushing for a ban!