Last updated 4 September 2020

Pigs are highly social, curious, and intelligent animals who want to live just as much as we do. Pigs communicate with one another and have more than 20 recognised vocalisations. Pigs are also extremely clean animals; when given sufficient space pigs will take special care not to soil where they eat and sleep. Sows are incredibly maternal, building nests from their surrounding environment for their piglets and singing to them while nursing. Studies have shown that pigs have intelligence akin to that of a 4-year-old child.

90% of pigs bred for their flesh in Australia are raised in factory farms. Pigs in factory farms lead miserable lives in horrific conditions, which have been well documented in Australia.


Artificial breeding is used widely within the pig farming industry.

Farrowing Crates

When a sow is close to giving birth, it is standard industry practice to move her from group/loose housing into a farrowing crate. A farrowing crate is a small metal cage in which sows are confined while they give birth and nurse their piglets until they are moved to ‘weaner’ pens. 

Free Range

While free-range operations profess to care about their animals’ welfare, there is no legal framework decreeing what free range is. In fact, the RSPCA has been criticised for placing its 'Paw of Approval' on pig products which have come from farms with deplorable conditions.


The most common method used to stun pigs in Australia is a CO2 gas chamber, deemed the most humane method when dealing with large numbers of pigs. Numerous investigations have revealed pigs desperately scream and thrash as they are lowered into the gas chamber, gasping for air until they suffocate from the painful gas. 

Sow Stalls

A sow stall (gestation stall) is a metal pen where pregnant sows are forced to live during pregnancy. The stalls are not much larger than the sows, only allowing approximately 1 step forward or backward and no room to move from side to side at all or turn around.

Standard practice (mutilation): piglets

Pigs are forced to endure several painful mutilations in their shortened lives without any pain relief. 

Gas chambers

Most Australian slaughterhouses now use carbon dioxide (CO2) gas chambers to render pigs unconscious prior to slitting their throats. Referred to by the industry as "controlled atmosphere stunning" this process involves lowering pigs into a chamber which is pumped full of deadly CO2 gas. The pigs are exposed to the gas for 2-4 minutes depending on the chamber. In most cases, this is long enough th...