Following on from Coles’ welcome decision in July to phase out pork from producers using sow stalls from its own brand, the retail giant has now further extended its commitment to helping to end one of the cruellest pig farming practices. From 2014, the extended ban will also apply to processed bacon and ham in the Coles range, in effect making the Coles brand sow stall free from that date.
Currently, hundreds of thousands of mother pigs are kept pregnant and confined in sow stalls across Australia. With a concrete floor and a space barely bigger than their bodies to live in for up to 16 weeks, these pigs are unable to even turn around, let alone display any natural behaviour such as foraging or building a nest for her babies. The mental and physical impacts of this cruel treatment are severe and numerous.
After years of relentless awareness campaigning by Animals Australia, this announcement by Coles is the latest in a series of significant decisions, such as Tasmania phasing out sow stalls, Australian Pork Limited committing to undertake an industry review of the practice (keep an eye on our website for updates) and the largest piggery in Australia, Rivalea, independently committing to become ‘sow stall free’. All of these developments have been brought about by pressure from informed consumers.
Animals Australia applauds Coles for taking another positive step toward ending their support of factory farming and is eager to hear similar commitments from the other major retailers. Click here to add your voice to the campaign to make all supermarket shelves ‘sow stall free’.
While every step toward ending factory farming is significant, there is still a long way to go. The Codes of Practice for pig production, while still allowing the use of sow stalls, also advocate confining sows in farrowing crates, and condone routine mutilations of young piglets without the use of pain killers, such as teeth clipping and castration.
Everyone can help animals right now by simply making informed, compassionate choices at the supermarket and continuing to help raise the awareness that is leading to positive changes for animals confined in factory farms.