The state animal resources department has instructed all senior officials across the state to ensure that no pig farms use restrictive crates. A circular in the matter, issued by the director of animal husbandry and veterinary services, has been sent to the officers in the districts.
The decision has been taken following an appeal by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India to prohibit the manufacture, sale and use of gestation and farrowing crates in pig farming. West Bengal ranks fourth in pig production in India.
West Bengal becomes the 21st state to use the ban. The other governments that have already imposed restrictions are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Uttarakhand among others.
A PETA spokesperson said pigs are intelligent animals and the confinement of the mother pigs to these cramped crates and separation from their piglets cause them tremendous grief and agony.
She said gestation crates are metal cages, where the pigs are unable to turn around or even stand up without difficulty. These devices confine pregnant sows, who are typically transferred to farrowing crates to give birth and are kept in them until their piglets are taken away.
The extreme stress and frustration caused by the confinement results in abnormal behaviour such as continually biting at the enclosu