Commend Banning of Sow Gestation Crates


Target: Pig Code Development Committee Chair Florian Possberg

Goal: Applaud development of new codes for responsible care of pigs, including a ban on gestation crates

Canada’s National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC) and the Canadian Pork Council (CPC) have recently released the new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs. The updated pig code is the result of a collaborative Pig Code Development Committee, made up of seventeen representatives and experts from industry, government, and animal welfare backgrounds, and supported by a six-member Scientific Committee of researchers and veterinarians. This endeavor is part of the NFACC’s relatively recent process of updating some of Canada’s Codes of Practice, a project called “Addressing Domestic and International Market Expectations Relative to Farm Animal Welfare
,” which involves outlining not only the requirements for animal care, but also the recommended practices that will ensure Canadian farm animals are kept as healthy and happy as possible.

The new pig code unequivocally bans the confinement of breeding sows in gestation crates, forcing breeding operations to allow them to get necessary exercise and to have ample space in individual stalls; it also goes much farther to protect all farm pigs. The CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, Barbara Cartwright, who happened to be the only representative from an animal welfare group, seemed confident about the gains made. The NFACC reports that Cartwright commented, “This new Code of Practice is a turning point for the welfare of pigs in Canada. It signals the end of gestation stalls, an achievement secured against significant obstacles. Pigs’ lives will also be improved by mandatory pain relief during castration and tail docking. However, we encourage producers to provide even higher standards than the Code requires.”

By signing this petition, you are thanking the Pig Code Development Committee for developing comprehensive regulations and recommendations for the treatment of farm pigs. You are encouraging them to continue expanding the protections for pigs and other farm animals in Canada.


Dear Pig Code Development Committee and Chair Possberg,

The recent release of the new Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs is certainly cause for celebration among animal lovers. The needs of farm animals have been ignored and put off for far too long, and it is time for all of us to take a stand against animal abuse in the international agricultural industry. Pigs should not have to suffer in poor living conditions — only to be slaughtered for the enjoyment of humans — and breeding sows should not be forced to live in cramped quarters without room to exercise or even turn around.

Thank you for developing comprehensive updated requirements and recommendations for the protection of pigs against exploitation and mistreatment, including the banning of gestation crates. I encourage you to continue to research and develop further protections for Canadian farm animals, and I hope that other nations soon follow your example.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Humane Society of the United States via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Craig Miller says:

    A big thanks to the governing bodies in Canada for the positive step – anything that will help ease the pain & suffering, is worth a thank you signature! Thanks !
    Now, I want to see Canada step up & BAN the brutal clubbing of seals & their pups; do it Canada !

    • Virginia Greenwood-Warner says:

      Absolutely Craig! Gestation crates caused absolutely horrific suffering and while we have a small victory here, let’s not forget the seals.

  2. Not only would I like to see pig gestration crates banned, I would like to see all meat products banned. I am thrilled about the above information but we still need to do more. A lot of work remains for us to perform.

  3. Ev Beatson says:

    I hope this really means Canada will ban this horrible practice of keeping these poor sensitive pigs in those tiny crates. How we could ever do it in the first place is beyond me. It just makes me cringe when I think of those poor, poor animals being made to live like that until they are killed by so called humans……

  4. Michaele Kustudic says:

    I have been a devout animal-lover all of my life, and the thought of any kind of cruelty to or suffering of any species of non-human animal breaks my heart. Always has. But the plight of pigs has always pained me more than any other such suffering. These large, sentient, intelligent, social beings, deprived of every vestige of freedom even to move their bodies … I can’t bear to think of it. So I am beyond joyful to hear that my country, Canada (is this really Stephen Harper’s Canada??) is banning the incarceration of sows in gestation crates. Sooner rather than later, please – act on what you have said you would do, waste no time in putting this new way of raising pigs, into practice!

  5. Michaele Kustudic says:

    What kind of “moderation”, and how long will that take?

  6. Sheila Jefferson says:

    Thank you!!! 🙂

  7. this is such good news as long as it is carried out, I often wonder who first thought of this cruel and undignified way to keep such sweet animals, they are bright and have feelings, and the fact that they will be slaughtered for the human being really means they should live as good as possible, I am a veggie. and fit, doing with out meat is not that hard once tried.

  8. Paula Thurston says:

    I have seen with my own eyes the suffering of Pigs in a factory farm & i live with it every day, i will never forget the looks on the Sows faces, so helpless & sad, i cry for them always xx

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