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Dear New Farm,
I am a pig farmer and I have 95 sows. I use all the Animal Welfare
Institute guidelines with one exception. I use farrowing crates.
I did not use them for the first 10 years; I thought they might
be cruel. Boy, was I wrong. Instead of carrying out buckets of dead
baby pigs, I now have a 95-98 percent survival rate. The sow only
nests when she is in labor so it only a couple of hours until she
settles down and gives birth. They don't go crazy, they just paw
a bit and get up and down a lot, mostly to turn over. The sow can
be removed when the babies are about four days to one week old and
put in a pen or building with the babies, as they are now strong
enough to get out of the sow’s way. Newborn pigs are very
fragile and easily crushed, and it needs to be brought to everyone’s
attention that we ask the crucial question of survival rates of
babies in these ‘more natural’ systems. It seems nobody
is looking at the real torture of the infant baby pigs. Well, I
for one, am going to speak on behalf of the infant piglet and I
will keep at it until somebody listens. Thank you for your participation
in the animal welfare issue.
Q-Bar Farm, SPF