Bipartisan PIGS act introduced
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., and Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, introduced a bill last week to ban the housing of pregnant pigs in gestation stalls, also known as crates.
The legislation, H.R. 7004, is called the Pigs in Gestation Stalls (PIGS) Act of 2022.
“It’s inhumane to force animals to live in such small spaces that they are unable to stand up or turn around,” said Mace in a press release.
“It is also dangerous. Extreme stress causes pregnant pigs to engage in self-mutilating behavior, making them more susceptible to diseases, such as zoonotic disease and swine flu, that can be passed on to humans. I support this bill because it will allow pregnant pigs the space to lie down, stand up, and turn around freely, a freedom that every living creature deserves.”
“We must hold our pig industry accountable by requiring them to follow adequate animal welfare conditions,” said Escobar. “I am pleased to join with my colleague across the aisle to enhance the safety and well-being of pregnant pigs.”
Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, and senior vice-president at the Center for a Humane Economy, said, “Animals born and built to move and to turn around should at least be allowed to do so.”
“Confining sows in crates that immobilize them is appalling and inhumane. We applaud Reps. Escobar and Mace for introducing the PIGS Act and working in bipartisan fashion to ensure that all animals are treated more humanely, including those raised for food.”
“All animals, livestock included, deserve to have the opportunity to express their instinctive behavior,” said Will Harris, owner and proprietor of White Oak Pastures, a Georgia beef, pork and poultry producer that has made animal welfare part of its mission.
“It is the responsibility of the stockman to provide an environment in which this is possible. Hogs were meant to root and wallow. Depriving them of this instinct is stressful to the hog, and a cruelty on the part of the hog producer. At the very least, they should not be immobilized.”
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The House Agriculture Committee today approved six bills dealing with markets and conservation on a bipartisan basis.