Many Canadian retailers oppose lifelong confinement of pigs
I think it was CTV's W5 investigation into pig farms called "Food for Thought" that did it for me.
I haven't eaten meat since.
Now, the Retail Council of Canada and some of Canada's largest retailers are jumping on board to sourcing fresh pork products from alternatives to gestation crates over the next nine years.
Canadian companies Wal-Mart, Costco, Safeway, Loblaw, Metro, Federated Co-operatives, Sobey's and Co-op Atlantic are all on board.
Gestation crates are metal enclosures that are used in intensive pig farming. Female pigs, during pregnancy, are kept in the enclosures. The crates are roughly the same size of their bodies preventing sows from even turning around.
According to statistics, 21.1 million hogs were slaughtered in Canadian packing plants in 2012 and over one million sows are confined to gestation crates.
The Canadian pork industry pulls in more than $3 billion in revenue annually.
Sayara Thurston, campaigner with Humane Society International/Canada, says, "HSI/Canada welcomes the National Farm Animal Care Council's recognition that the lifelong confinement of pigs in tiny crates must end in Canada's pork industry.
"While there is still significant room for improvement in the Code of Practice, we look forward to engaging with the public and with NFACC throughout the consultation period to address the most concerning issues."
She says these issues include the continued allowance for some confinement of mother pigs during their pregnancies and a long phase-out period of gestation crates that does not reflect recent decisions by some of Canada's largest pork buyers.
Gestation crates, which are standard in large scale pork production, have often been criticized by veterinarians, family farmers, animal welfare advocates, legislators, scientists, consumers and food retailers.
And according to a recent national poll, 84 per cent of Canadians support a complete phase-out of the use of gestation crates.
The new Code of Practice will take effect next year which would prohibit construction of any new gestation crate operations throughout Canada. It also states that producers will have to eliminate the lifelong confinement of pigs in gestation crates and begin housing them in groups by 2024.
Many family farmers have been raising pigs without the use of gestation crates for generations.
Food for thought.
By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money
What are your thoughts on the move away from the use of gestation crates?
Posted by: Viver | Jun 7, 2021 2:25:52 PM
I have become a vegetarian and will no longer eat meat because what is happening in the industry and horrible factory farming practices. I know not everyone will stop eating meat but we need to be more humane and treat animals with respect and not as a product. I know things are changing and consumers are speaking up by choosing organic meat which is better for the planet and the animals. It really is not that expensive. It is not healthy to eat meat every day and we can make better choices. It always amazes me when I see people buying factory farmed eggs rather than cage free eggs. They say they cannot afford it but have their cart full of chips and other junk that is clearly more expensive. We need to raise our consciousness as a human race for a better future for animals and humans.
Posted by: Joy Collins | Jun 9, 2021 12:37:59 AM
I implore all meat eaters (and I'm one!) - please make a strong effort to buy meat directly from farmers who raise and slaughter their animals humanely. Also, buy eggs from suppliers who do not cage their birds. It may take a little effort to find these farmers but it will be well worth it. You can be assured that you are not ingesting the growth hormones and/or antibiotics in the meat that you buy in supermarkets and box stores. And you are not buying diseased meat, which in most slaughterhouses are from "downed" animals (those who cannot walk into the slaughterhouse on their own and must be pushed in with forklifts, tractors, etc) and, because of economics, they slaughter and sell these animals. And if you decide you are going to go the "humane" route, please, please let your supermarket or big box store that you will no longer buy products from them unless they can assure you that the meat or eggs in question came from humane suppliers. And gestation crates for pigs aren't the only inhumane practice. Once they have their babies (once they farrow) they are put in farrowing crates where they can only stand up or lie down. Baby calves are put in similar confinement so they can be slaughtered for veal. We CAN have a say in how farm animals are treated by what procedures we will tolerate by the farmers who raise the food for us. If enough of us won't support farm animal torture, the farmers won't stay in business long unless they make changes!!
Posted by: MumWhoChose | Jun 9, 2021 9:09:01 AM
Besides the inaccuracy of the "downer" cows statement, I fully (and I'm a farm wife!) agree with the above poster!!Put in a *little* extra time sourcing your foods - direct from the farmers. It may *seem* more expensive at first, but in averaging the costs.. it's a much, *much*, less expensive way to feed your family! AND you can know that your children and wives are not consuming extra hormones leading to premature puberty etc.
Posted by: Humans are just like pigs | Jun 9, 2021 12:38:02 PM
Large Pork Producer, Smithfield Foods, was sold recently to China and we humans in North America are same as population of Pigs and it does not and until we are replaced in crates preventing from even turning around. Example is constant short of work for our people.
Posted by: Darwin List Recruitment Agent | Jun 10, 2021 3:11:10 PM
@ Humans are just like pigs ... Say What ??? Go back to your padded crate !!
Maybe you should have called yourself "Idiots are just like morons".