Skip to Content

Press Releases

Congresswomen Escobar and Mace Introduce Legislation to Ban the Use of Gestational Sow Stalls

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-01) introduced H.R. 7004, the Pigs in Gestation Stalls Act of 2022 (PIGS Act). This legislation would permanently ban the use of gestation stalls, also known to house pregnant pigs and would require the pigs to have at least 36 square feet of space. These implementations will allow pregnant pigs 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 the cruelty in our food industry, this is an important step in holding the swine industry accountable by limiting the horrific conditions pregnant pigs are kept in.”

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. 

“It’s inhumane to force animals to live in such small spaces that they are unable to stand up or turn around. 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,” said Rep. Nancy Mace.   

Due to extreme conditions, pregnant pigs are exposed to extreme amounts of stress and self-mutilating behavior and are more susceptible to diseases. 

“Animals born and built to move and to turn around should at least be allowed to do so,” said Marty Irby, Executive Director of Animal Wellness Action, and Senior Vice-President at the Center for a Humane Economy. “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.  “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.”    

Click here to read the full text of the legislation.

# # #

Stay Connected