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Chamber and committees

Phasing Out Farrowing Crates

  • Submitted by: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party.
  • Date lodged: Friday, 01 March 2024
  • Motion reference: S6M-12360
  • Current status: Achieved cross-party support

That the Parliament notes with concern reports that most indoor bred sows in Scotland are confined to farrowing crates for weeks and that, during that time, in a very restricted space that they cannot turn around in or perform highly motivated behaviours, including building a nest and caring for their piglets; understands that, in 2015, the Farmed Animal Welfare Committee recommended that farrowing crates be phased out; further understands that the British Veterinary Association has identified the use of farrowing crates as a priority animal welfare problem for the year 2023-24; understands that the European Food Safety Authority has concluded that sows can be kept in free-farrowing systems without increasing piglet mortality and recommended that farrowing crates should not be used, for animal welfare reasons; notes that the Scottish Government's Programme for Government 2021-22 included a commitment to consult on phasing out farrowing crates, which it considers has not been fulfilled; understands that most people in Scotland, including in the Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale constituency and across the South Scotland region, want to see the use of farrowing crates ended; notes the longstanding calls from animal welfare organisations, including OneKind, for an end to farrowing crates, and further notes the view that the Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill and the National Good Food Nation Plan could provide policy levers that would support and incentivise farmers in a just transition to free-farrowing systems.

Supported by: Clare Adamson, Colin Beattie, Ariane Burgess, Stephanie Callaghan, Maggie Chapman, Katy Clark, Bob Doris, James Dornan, Kenneth Gibson, Maurice Golden, Emma Harper, Clare Haughey, Bill Kidd, Monica Lennon, Rona Mackay, Ben Macpherson, John Mason, Ivan McKee, Stuart McMillan, Marie McNair, Pauline McNeill, Audrey Nicoll, Ash Regan, Mark Ruskell, Colin Smyth, Paul Sweeney