A bill targeting the use of gestation crates for pig production is currently being discussed in the American state of Oregon, US.
The state is the fourth of American states in which a ban on the use of gestation crates on pig farms is being discussed.
Virtually pig-less states of Arizona and Florida banned the use over the previous years – in California several court cases have been held around this issue.
Last week, Oregon farmers spoke out in a legislative hearing in opposition to a bill banning gestation crates – and also farrowing stalls – on the state’s pig farms.
The farmers said the bill is unnecessary and ultimately could harm more pigs than it helps.
The bill would have limited impact in Oregon, which has only a small pig production.
Total sow count in Oregon, according to Oregon pig farmers, is about 1,000 – or roughly twice the size of a single family-sized operations in the Mid-West.
It is thought that animal activists are trying to influence national politics by addressing the issue state by state, starting in states without a large pig production.
Ironically, Oregon pig producers hardly use gestation crates as there is a lot of organic farming in this state. Farrowing stalls are used for about a month – during the last week before farrowing and three weeks following it.
The stalls help prevent sows from crushing piglets.
Read more on Oregon pig production in the April issue of Pig Progress.
Related news items:
â€¢ NPPC pleased about California court ruling (31 Jan 2007)
â€¢ Smithfield ends use of gestation crates (26 Jan 2007)
â€¢ NPPC: gestation crates are also appropriate (26 Jan 2007)
â€¢ Activists now target California pig producers (23 Jan 2007)
â€¢ Arizona says ‘no’ to gestation crates (9 Nov 2006)