Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dr Broom of Cambridge University Veterinary School on Cognitive Ability of Pigs: Also, Summary of Recent Laws Affecting Pigs in Factory Farms

Great article. Here are just a couple of quotes from below that provide a great summary of this issue:

“They have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs – and certainly three-year-olds.”

“I wonder if any of these people would dare keep their beloved companion Fido in the same conditions they deem perfectly acceptable for pigs?

Article:

Getting pig cruelty into the closet

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/opinion/2481992/Getting-pig-cruelty-into-the-closet

About pigs, Dr Donald Broom of the Cambridge University Veterinary School says: “They have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs – and certainly three-year-olds.”

So, what would you think of a neighbour who kept their three-year-old in a steel crate just a few centimetres bigger than the child was?

From the Stuff website: “I wonder if any of these people would dare keep their beloved companion Fido in the same conditions they deem perfectly acceptable for pigs?

“How do these people look at themselves in the mirror knowing they are deceiving the public and forcing such intelligent and social animals into a life so miserable I can hardly begin to imagine?

“They should try it out – go lock themselves in a closet. It might just make this world a better place.”

Some other facts that may help you if you fear that the bacon and egg argument about cruel confinement of pigs and poultry is simply an issue driven by wild-eyed, unworldly eccentrics in darned woolly jumpers and sandals. Plus someone you may rate as an odd columnist.

On May 12, the state of Maine passed a law banning gestation stalls and veal crates. Animals there will have to have enough room to stand up, extend their limbs and turn around freely, for the majority of the day. The law takes effect on January 1, 2011. A happier new year, indeed.

Colorado recently passed a law to phase out veal crates and pig gestation cages on the recommendation of what was described as an unlikely coalition of Colorado-based animal agriculture organisations and the Humane Society of the United States.

As long ago as 2002, Florida banned intensive caging of pigs in gestation crates – the first such measure in the US.

In 2006 Arizona overwhelmingly outlawed cruel confinement of breeding pigs as well as veal calves.
In June 2007, Oregon banned pigs in gestation crates.

Its act says: “A person shall not tether or confine any pig on a farm for all or the majority of the day in a manner that prevents such animal from lying down and fully extending its limbs or turning around freely.”

At that time, the US Humane Society, the largest animal protection organisation in the US – with more than 10 million supporters – said: “Even animals raised for food deserve humane treatment. Gestation crates are notoriously abusive.”

Tethering is banned entirely in the European Union and at least three countries, Sweden among them, have already stopped the use of gestation crates altogether.

That ban will effectively reach the rest of the EU by 2013 when all member countries will have phased out gestation crates entirely.

The United States’ largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods, and Canada’s largest pork producer, Maple Leaf Foods, have both announced they will begin phasing out gestation crates in their pork production.

Burger King and restaurant chain Wolfgang Puck have also said they are moving away from pork producers who use them.

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