Sunday, April 29, 2007

Oregon Senate Overwhelmingly Approves Measure to Ban the Confining of Pigs in Metal Gestation Crates

An excellent move. We’ll see what happens when it enters the House.

For more on why gestation crates are wrong, see


Oregon Pigs Finally Get The Respect They Deserve

By Joseph Friedrichs, 4-27-07

Caption: Photo courtesy of

The Oregon State Senate approved a measure Thursday prohibiting the cruel confinement of breeding pigs in metal gestation crates so small the animals can’t turn around for months at a time.

Essentially a gestation crate is a place where pregnant sows spend their lives standing in their own filth and shooting out piglet after piglet. The animals are allowed no straw bedding and often go insane from the caged-in lifestyle. Typically the adult pigs become inflicted with oozing sores and other body welts as a result of constantly leaning against the metal cages.

“Mushy pig flesh” isn’t the right phrase, but it’s the first one that comes to mind.

Senate Bill 694 passed in an overwhelming vote Thursday of 20-9, according to The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization with more than 10 million supporters, praised the Oregon Senate for approving the important measure, at a time when food industry giants like Burger King, Wolfgang Puck, and Smithfield Foods are all taking steps to end this cruel confinement of farm animals, Salem-News reported.

“Gestation crates are among the most cruel and inhumane confinement systems used in today’s factory farms,” said Kelly Peterson, Oregon state coordinator for The HSUS, according to Salem- News. “Today, Oregon lawmakers have sent a clear message: the state should be no refuge for abusive agribusiness practices that deny these highly intelligent and social creatures the basic ability to turn around and stretch their limbs.”

Senate Bill 694 prohibits confining pigs during pregnancy in a manner that prevents them from lying down, fully extending their limbs, or turning around freely. In other words, it allows them a chance to live a mildly decent life, for a pig anyhow.

The Humane Society says gestation crates are two-foot-wide metal cages that confine millions of breeding pigs for nearly their entire lives, Salem-News reported. Advocates say the animals suffer both leg and joint problems along with psychosis from this extreme treatment.

When it’s a good week for the pigs of Oregon, it’s a good week for us too. Enjoy the weekend.

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