Sows tend to be:
- Kept in individual sow stalls during pregnancy and farrowing crates during lactation. Both stalls and crates restrict the sow’s movement so that she is only able to stand up and lie down; she is unable to turn around or walk more than one or two steps.
- Kept in barren environments with no opportunity to root or build a nest.
- Fed a small quantity of high nutrient-dense feed (during pregnancy) which, whilst satisfying her nutrient requirements, does not provide satiety – so she feels physical hunger.
- Bred to produce large litters, which she is unable to fully rear herself.
Meat pigs tend to be:
- Reared in barren, overcrowded environments usually with fully-slatted flooring.
- Bred for high growth rates which are detrimental to their health and welfare.
- Subjected to the routine mutilations of teeth-clipping, tail-docking and castration.
In the UK, sow stalls have been banned since 1999 and most pigs are not castrated.
The EU partial sow stall ban came into effect on 1st January 2013 under Council Directive 2008/120/EC. However, there are still European countries that are non-compliant with this legislation.