Pig Husbandry & farrowing crates
My colleague Sir David Amess MP will present a Ten-Minute Rule Bill to Parliament, requiring the phasing out of farrowing crates for pigs by 2027. Animal welfare is devolved to the Welsh Parliament so it would be a matter for Ministers in Wales to ban farrowing crates in line with the ambitions of the 10 Minute Rule Bill Proposed by Sir David Amess.
The UK is a nation of animal lovers and we led the way in improving the welfare of pigs. The Government has made clear that farrowing crates should no longer be used for sows, I welcome that the pig welfare code clearly states that “the aim is for farrowing crates to no longer be necessary and for any new system to protect the welfare of the sow, as well as her piglets”.
DEFRA has funded research into alternative farrowing systems. I understand the commercial development of farrowing systems and practices is not sufficiently advanced to recommend the compulsory replacement of all farrowing crates, but the Government is keen to work with the industry on this. The Ministers are also constantly reviewing legal standards as part of their commitment to animal welfare.
Separately, I welcome that the UK Government is currently looking into ending the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening in England and Wales. This forms part of a renewed push by the UK Government to strengthen the UK’s position as a world leader on animal welfare.
My colleagues in the Welsh Parliament are also fully committed to supporting welfare-friendly farming and have campaigned vigorously for the introduction of measures such as mandatory CCTV in Welsh abattoirs.