Paws up! To Congresswoman Veronica Escobar and Congresswoman Nancy Mace for introducing PIGS Act of 2022. This amendment to the Animal Welfare Act would ban the drastic confinement of pregnant pigs.
April 15, 2022
On March 9, 2022, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar of Texas and Congresswoman Nancy Mace of South Carolina introduced PIGS Act of 2022. H.R. 7004, PIGS Act of 2022 is an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act to forbid the extreme confinement of pregnant pigs. This bill would ensure that pregnant pigs would have enough room to properly lie down, turn around, stand up, and walk in a complete circle in their enclosures that they are being kept separate in. The pregnant pigs need to be able to do this without coming into contact with another animal, and without touching any of the sides of their enclosures. When pregnant pigs do not have enough space to even move, it causes severe emotional distress, as well as immense physical suffering. Nancy Mace in a recent news article said, “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.”
Some of these pigs are in these gestation stalls not only for one pregnancy term, but for several when the pig is being used for breeding. The pregnant pigs that are being used for breeding purposes can be kept in these gestation stalls for up to three years, according to the news article. Food retailers already have started to do away with involvement of the use of gestation stalls for their pork products, due to the health concerns of the public. So far, ten states have banned the use of gestation stalls. These states being Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, and Rhode Island. Additionally, California and Massachusetts have forbid the sale of pork products produced by a facility using gestation stalls to hold their pregnant pigs.