Montreal’s SPCA is asking the public to take a stand against cruelty in the Pork Industry

Montreal, December 10, 2012 – Last Saturday, CTV’s news magazine W5 aired a report “Food for thought” in which an undercover investigation with hidden-cameras took viewers inside one of Canada’s largest pork producer, Puratone and showed shocking conditions found there. Purotone supplies pork for some of Canada’s biggest grocery chains uncluding Metro, Walmart and Loblaws. The investigation was undertaken by Mercy for Animals Canada and documents the cruel reality of how pigs are raised in factory farms in Canada. Much of the footage shows practices that, despite being inhumane, are, currently permitted in Canada, including: the confinement of thousands of pigs to metal gestation crates so small they are unable to turn around, stretch their legs or lie down comfortably for nearly their entire lives andthe castration and cutting of tails of fully conscious piglets without any anesthesia or pain control. To view the W5 report, click here.

Pigs are smart, sensitive animals who feel pain, fear and stress, and are capable of engaging in complex tasks. Highly social, pigs naturally spend their time in groups and are very active and playful. Studies show that pigs are even more intelligent than dogs and even some primates. “As difficult as the images filmed at the undercover investigation at Puratone are to watch, consumers need to understand how their choices in purchasing can directly affect the lives of animals” said Alanna Devine, Montreal’s SPCA Director of Animal Advocacy. “We fully support the efforts of Mercy for Animals Canada in exposing the inherent cruelty behind factory farmed pigs and gestation crates”.

Gestation crates cause unimaginable physical and psychological suffering to the sows. Pigs housed in gestation crates suffer from wounds and pressure sores from rubbing against the bars or lying on the hard concrete floors in their cages, they also perform repetitive behaviors such as biting and banging the metal bars of their cages out of frustration and boredom, often until they bleed. You will find more details about the horrors of the gestation crates and the whole investigation undertaken by Mercy for Animals Canada by clicking here.

Around the world, countries are phasing out the use of cruel gestation crates and using alternative housing systems, such as group housing, which better meet the pig’s needs. In fact, animal welfare experts and veterinarians around the world consider gestation crates to be so cruel that they have been banned in the entire European Union, Australia, New Zealand and in nine U.S. states. Many companies in North America, such as McDonald’s, Tim Hortons and many others have also pledged to end the use of gestation crates in their supply chains. Canada is the world’s third largest pork exporter and the industry is worth approximately $3-billion a year. Some of Canada’s largest businesses, such as Safeway and Costco, have already asked their suppliers to put an end to this inhumane practice.

Please help Montreal’s SPCA stand with Humane Society International Canada, Mercy for Animals Canada and other Animal Welfare groups across the Country, to stop the use of gestation crates and other cruel practices pigs are enforced to endure. Here are ways to take a stand and make a difference starting now:

  • Ask Canadian grocery stores such as Loblaws, Sobeys, Walmart and Metro to stop supporting this blatant cruelty to animals by stopping to purchase pork from factory farms that force pigs to live in these cruel cages. By making this simple change, these companies can send the pork industry a clear and powerful message that gestation crates have no future in Canada. Sign Mercy for Animal’s petition by clicking here. You can also send the Humane Society International’s personalized message online to Loblaws and Sobeys today by clicking here.
  • Educate friends and family about the cruelty behind the pig industry in Canada. You can also post Mercy for Animals’s undercover investigation and Humane Society International’s message to Sobeys and Loblaws on your social media pages.
  • Refuse to purchase pork products from any food retailer that has not committed to purchasing only from suppliers that don’t use gestation crates or even better, refrain from buying pork products altogether.

Thank you for helping pigs and helping to put an end to the use of gestation crates in Canada!

For more information on this subject, here are helpful links:

– 30 –

 Media Contact: Alanna Devine, 514-735-2711 ext 2245, or adevine@spca.com

About the SPCA: The Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was the first humane society in Canada, founded in Montreal in 1869. Guided by the humane ethic, it is the mission of the SPCA to:

  •  protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation;
  • represent their interests and ensure their well-being;
  • raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings.

Our role is to prevent cruelty to animals through a number of actions that benefit animals and humans. Visit our web site at www.spca.com

Keep in touch

Sign up for our newsletter to stay on top of our activities and get news about our furry and feathered residents.