Petition: New Zealand's NGOs are going to court to prove that farrowing crates are illegal


Petition: New Zealand's NGOs are going to court to prove that farrowing crates are illegal

12 June 2020
Farrowing crates which contain mother pigs on factory farms are in violation of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and for the first time in NZ history SAFE is going to court to prove this.


Across New Zealand, more than 14,000 mother pigs are confined in narrow cages barely wider than their own bodies.

Mother pigs are confined for over three months each year. They are confined in mating stalls for up to seven days during early pregnancy. They are confined again in farrowing crates for up to five weeks, just before they give birth until their babies are weaned.

They can’t take more than a step backwards or forwards, and can’t turn around. Expressing natural behaviours like nest building, foraging, or interacting with their piglets and other pigs are impossible.

Pigs are intelligent, sensitive animals that show obvious signs of distress, their heart rate becomes elevated and they may bite the bars of the crates.

The Government’s own advisors, the National Animal Welfare Committee (NAWAC) had previously advised the Government that farrowing crates do not meet the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act. Both the Labour Party and the Green Party committed to banning farrowing crates prior to the 2016 election. In March 2018 more than 112,000 caring Kiwis signed a petition calling for a ban on the use of farrowing crates.

Yet the use of farrowing crates has continued in clear violation of the Act. We want to see proper enforcement of the Act so mother pigs are kept in a way that is safe and legal.

Court proceedings have been filed and a court date has been set – 8 and 9 June 2020.

The continued use of farrowing crates means mother pigs are suffering every day.

We need your help to ensure justice for mother pigs.

Be loud and let’s create positive change for animals!

The petition

On June 8 and 9, 2020, SAFE and NZALA (New Zealand Animal Law Association) are going to court to prove that farrowing crates are illegal under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

They are calling for a complete ban on farrowing crates and mating stalls, which confine mother pigs and do not allow them to express their natural behaviour.

Not only do these horrible crates mean prolonged suffering for sensitive mother pigs, the legislation that allows farmers to continue this cruel practice was put in place unlawfully.

SAFE and NZALA are demanding justice for animals.

Click to sign the petition.