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Congresswoman Escobar Introduces Legislation to Ban the Extreme Confinement of Pregnant Sows

Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) introduced H.R. 2939, the Pigs in Gestation Stalls Act of 2023 (PIGS Act). This legislation would permanently ban the extreme confinement of pregnant sows and require the pigs to have at least 24 square feet of space to allow them to lie down, stand up, and move about freely.  

“Pigs are sentient beings that feel pain and suffering. They are sensitive, gentle, and smart creatures that are treated with incredible cruelty before they are sent to be slaughtered,” said Congresswoman Escobar. “While there is much more work needed to reform this aspect of our food industry, this is an important step in holding the swine industry accountable by eliminating the dreadful conditions pregnant pigs are kept in.” 

Due to extreme conditions, pregnant pigs are exposed to high amounts of stress and self-mutilating behavior, making them more susceptible to diseases. The PIGS Act will help to establish a level playing field for pork producers. For example, there are currently a dozen states restricting the practice of gestation stalls, pushing retailers to buy pork from only crate-free operations. The PIGS Act will help give consumers more confidence about the swine industry’s animal welfare standards.  

This legislation is endorsed by over 60 animal welfare, environmental, and farming organizations including Crate Free USA, Farm Sanctuary, and Rise for Animals. 

“Animals born and built to move and to turn around should at least be allowed to do so,” said Jim Keen, D.V.M. director of veterinary sciences for Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy. “Confining sows in crates that immobilize them is demonstrably inhumane and there are widely accepted and applied alternative housing methods. We applaud Rep. Escobar for her work to ensure that all animals are treated more humanely, including those raised for food.”

Full text can be found here.

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