Across the UK, millions of pigs are suffering terribly in cruel farrowing crates. They are unable to turn around or move beyond lying down and standing up, sometimes with difficulty, as the crate is barely bigger than their own body. 

pig in farrowing crate

The Scottish Government has committed to consult this year on phasing out cages for laying hens and gamebirds. However, the consultation will not include farrowing crates for mother pigs, despite their  Programme for Government commitment to do so. 

We are campaigning the Scottish Government to also consult on a phase out to farrowing crates. And we need your help. 

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Crates so narrow that she cannot walk 


In the UK, most sows are kept indoors and endure multiple pregnancies during their lives. Pregnant sows are placed in farrowing crates shortly before giving birth and remain in these restrictive crates for up to five weeks. 

Pig lying in farrowing crate

A pregnant sow will suffer tremendously in these confining crates. The crates are so narrow that the sow cannot turn around or walk even a few steps.  


She cannot build a nest for her piglets, which she is strongly motivated to do, nor interact with or care for her piglets (beyond allowing them to suckle through bars).  

She may also get painful sores from lying on a hard surface and painful bites because selection for ‘productivity’ has led to litters that have more piglets than teats, creating competition to nurse.

pig in farrowing crate with piglets feeding.

She cannot do much at all, except the bare minimum for survival. 

Scots support a ban 

The majority of Scots support an end to the use of farrowing crates and 63% support the government assisting farmers to move from using farrowing crates to cage-free methods. 

What can I do? 

We must hold the Scottish Government accountable. While they have confirmed, in response to our Stand Up for Pigs campaign, that they are committed to consulting on a phase out to farrowing crates, they have not provided a timeframe. We cannot continue to allow pigs to suffer. 

Please send a letter, using our template, to the Minister for Agriculture and Connectivity, Jim Fairlie, to urge the Government to also consult on phasing out farrowing crates.

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We encourage you to personalise your letter for maximum impact. Thank you for Standing up for Pigs.