Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals

Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals

January 25, 2007 17:15 ET

Maple Leaf is urged to follow America's lead

CCFA and WSPA urge changes to Canadian pig cages

Attention: Agriculture Editor, Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, World News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 25, 2007) - Following news of the biggest advance in farm animal welfare in modern agribusiness, the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals (CCFA) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) are calling on Maple Leaf Foods to follow the lead of America's largest pork producer. Smithfield Corporation announced today it will be phasing out the confinement of mother pigs in cages ("gestation crates") over the next decade.

"We are asking Maple Leaf Foods, as Canada's largest pork producer, to follow Smithfield's lead and phase out this cruel confinement system," says John Youngman, a CCFA Director. "It would send a strong message to the rest of Canada's pork industry that sow stalls have no place in Canada."

Most of Canada's 1.6 million breeding sows are confined for their entire lives in cages measuring just two feet wide by seven feet long. The cages are so small mother pigs cannot turn around.

Farm animal expert Dr. Temple Grandin states, "Gestation crates for pigs are a real problem...Basically, you're asking a sow to live in an airline seat."

"This practice is considered so extraordinarily cruel that all of Europe has voted to ban sow stalls as of 2013. And now, voters in Florida and Arizona have also voted to ban the practice. This is an enormous win for animal welfare," said Silia Smith, Regional Director for WSPA Canada.

Under Smithfield's plan, mother pigs will instead be housed in group pens which will allow them some freedom of movement and the ability to socialize.

The Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals is Canada's largest farm animal protection organization.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals, the world's largest animal-protection organization, works to prevent cruelty to animals and improve animal welfare. WSPA's animal protection work includes field projects, disaster management, education and training, awareness and advocacy campaigns.

Media Contacts:

John Youngman, Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals, (204) 294-2940

Celecia Partap, Media Manager, WSAP (416) 369-0044


Contact Information

  • Celecia Partap, Public Relations and Media Manager, World Society for the Protection of Animals
    Primary Phone: 416-369-0044 ext. 106
    Secondary Phone: 416-526-4743
    Toll-Free: 800-363-9772