Progress for Pigs: Odisha Bans Gestation Crates After Appeals from Mercy For Animals India

In a significant victory for animals, the state of Odisha has taken a strong stand by prohibiting the use of gestation crates in animal agriculture. After appeals from Mercy For Animals India Foundation and other animal protection groups, the Directorate of Animal Husbandry in Odisha has issued a circular to all pig farms in the state to prohibit the use of gestation crates. The governing body has also instructed veterinary officers to visit pig farms and take action against any farmers found violating the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. 

Mercy For Animals applauds the government of Odisha for this decision, which reflects the growing recognition of our ethical responsibilities towards animals. 

Understanding Gestation Crates: Gestation crates, often used in the pig farming industry, are extremely restrictive cages that confine sows for the duration of their pregnancies. These crates so severely limit the animals’ movement that they are unable to turn around, lie down comfortably, or engage in many essential natural behaviours. The confined spaces cause immense physical and psychological suffering. 

Implications for Animal Welfare: By outlawing this extreme confinement, Odisha has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that animals are treated with dignity and respect. This decision promotes the adoption of farming practices that prioritise the well-being of animals over profit. It also encourages farmers to explore alternative methods that provide pregnant sows with adequate space, freedom of movement, and opportunities to express natural behaviours. 

Supporting Sustainable Agriculture: In addition to improving animal welfare, Odisha’s ban on gestation crates contributes to sustainable agricultural practices. The prohibition encourages farmers to adopt more holistic approaches that consider the long-term environmental and social impacts of intensive animal farming. By embracing animal-friendly practices, such as providing ample space to move and socialise, farmers can enhance the overall health and productivity of their animals. 

Inspiring Change Beyond Borders: Odisha is the latest state to take action regarding restrictive crates for pigs. After appeals from Mercy For Animals India Foundation and other groups, 20 states have prohibited the use of gestation and farrowing crates: Jharkhand, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Telangana, Manipur, Mizoram, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Sikkim, West Bengal, Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Punjab have all taken action. Their decisions to ban crates serve as powerful inspiration for other regions and countries to reevaluate their own animal welfare policies. 

As we continue to evolve as a society, we must remember that our treatment of animals reflects our values and our commitment to a more compassionate world. Join us in urging the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and use of gestation and farrowing crates for pigs across India in compliance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Urge the government to ban gestation and farrowing crates across India.