Search icon

Reality for sows confined in cages throughout Britain revealed

News Section Icon Published 19/07/2019

Our new undercover investigation released today (19th July), exposes the grim reality for thousands of sows across the UK, forced to give birth and rear their piglets in farrowing crates.

Please note: this film contains scenes of animal suffering that you may find updsetting.

Confined in cruel cages

Footage obtained from two British pig farms in spring 2019 shows mother pigs confined in narrow metal crates within bleak sheds. These conditions are typical for pigs in factory farms throughout the UK.

Dragons’ Den star and Compassion supporter Deborah Meaden, who narrates the film, said: “It is abysmal that animals are still being raised in such barbaric and outdated systems here in the UK. Higher-welfare, cage-free systems are viable, making the use of cruel cages in farming totally unnecessary. It’s time to stop this cruelty. It’s time to End the Cage Age.”

A stain on the country’s reputation

Sow stalls have been banned in the UK since 1999, however farrowing crates are widely used. Over half of UK sows (more than 250,000) are confined in these cruel cages for weeks at a time, forced to feed their piglets through bars. They are unable to perform the most basic of behaviours such as walking or turning around, let alone building a nest for their young or foraging for food.

“This is the reality for thousands of intelligent, sensitive mother pigs” our Campaigns Manager, Natasha Smith explained.

“Many consumers are completely unaware that this cruelty goes on behind closed doors and are unwittingly supporting these inhumane systems when shopping for pork products.

“Britain prides itself on its high animal welfare standards, but the terrible conditions in which many pigs are born are a stain on the country’s reputation. It’s plain to see this treatment is wrong. So, why are farrowing crates still legal in Britain today?”

It’s time to End the Cage Age

Join the fight to End the Cage Age. Please take action today.