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Video of abuse at JBS pig farm also highlights common practices

Most farms use gestation stalls when sows are artificially inseminated, and some use them to test whether the sows are pregnant. State bans gestation crates typically include exceptions for testing, treatment, or research.

COLLEEN SLEVIN: ‘Recently released undercover video showing pigs being kicked, hit and punched at a Kentucky supplier for the world’s largest meat producer drew prompt condemnation from animal rights groups and the agricultural industry alike. However, the images sandwiched in between — adult pigs in cages barely bigger than their bodies and a piglet squealing while being castrated — show still widely accepted industry practices, but were aimed at pressuring Brazilian-based JBS to abandon them. Ten states — none major pork producers — have passed laws that ban or phase out the use of those narrow metal cages, known as gestation crates or stalls, where sows are confined during their frequent pregnancies…

An estimated 75 percent of U.S. pig farms regularly use gestation stalls… However, even most of those farms still use gestation stalls when sows are artificially inseminated, and some use them to test whether the sows are pregnant, council spokesman David Warner said. State bans, like Colorado’s, typically include exceptions for testing, treatment or research… Temple Grandin, an animal science professor at Colorado State University and consultant on livestock treatment, said confined pregnant pigs lack the space to turn around, and compared the experience to humans having to spend their lives in an airline seat… “Gradually, people are realizing that these animals feel pain and we need to give them pain relief,” she said’. SOURCE…

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