Following an appeal from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, to prohibit the use of gestation and farrowing crates in pig farming, the Animal Husbandry Directorate, Government of Rajasthan, has issued a circular directing all district joint directors of the Department of Animal Husbandry to coordinate with the district administration to ensure compliance with Section 11(1)(e) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
The Act prohibits keeping any animal in a cage or receptacle that does not offer a reasonable opportunity for movement.
Gestation and farrowing crates severely prohibit movement, and animal agriculture contraptions which violate Section 11(1)(e) are illegal as confirmed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s National Research Centre on Pig.
Circulars prohibiting the use of gestation and farrowing crates have already been issued by the governments of Goa, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh following PETA India’s action. A similar circular was previously issued by the Punjab government.
Gestation crates (a.k.a. sow stalls) are metal cages essentially the size of a pig, with concrete or slatted floors, that leave the animals unable to turn around or even stand up without difficulty.
They are used to confine pregnant pigs, who are typically transferred to farrowing crates to give birth and are kept in them until their piglets are taken away. These crates are fundamentally the same as gestation crates, except that they contain small side rooms for piglets.
“PETA India commends the Rajasthan government for its action, which could spare countless pigs severe confinement in crates,” says PETA India Advocacy Associate Farhat Ul Ain.
“PETA India reminds everyone that they can help prevent the suffering of pigs simply by not eating them, as the use of these crates is just one horrific practice of the pig-meat industry. Pigs are also transported in extremely crowded vehicles to slaughter houses, where they’re killed by being struck on the head or stabbed in the chest.”