Sow stalls confine pregnant pigs to tiny metal cages on concrete floors that stop them from socialising, walking, turning around, digging or seeing the sun. These highly social and intelligent animals suffer immense physical and psychological pain in what is widely considered one of the cruellest factory farming practices.
While the practice is banned in the UK, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Finland, and will be across the EU next year, 84 per cent of female pigs get confined to sow stalls.
The pork industry says it will phase out the practice by 2017 but around 250,000 pigs are confined in this way every year. Five years is a long way away, and because this action is voluntary there are no guarantees of change.
In response to my question in Parliament that NSW follow Tasmania's lead and ban sow stalls next year, the Primary Industries Minister chose to discuss food security and the need for factory farming practices.
To read my Question Without Notice visit http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20120531120?open&refNavID=HA8_1