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Article published February 26, 2013
Zachary D. Frazier Center Township
I am writing to clarify points made in an article posted on Alabama.com, an online news source. The article focuses on a national tour by Mercy for Animals, an animal activist group that is touring the nation protesting outside of Walmart stores. The group’s protest is in regard to the farms from which Walmart sources its pork. Mercy for Animals cites its qualms with Walmart’s pork producers as the use of gestation crates for pregnant sows, female pigs. Gestation crates were introduced for many reasons. When housed in group housing, sows become aggressive and will fight, injuring each other. Gestation crates prevent this from occurring. Also, they allow for each sow to be fed according to her individual nutritional needs. Around the time of farrowing, giving birth to piglets, sows are moved to farrowing crates. Farrowing crates prevent the sow from lying on her piglets, as well as allow the piglets a clean, dry environment due to their design. Farmers are working consistently to improve the welfare of their animals, to ensure they can live long, healthy, happy lives. Other solutions have been considered, but none have yielded the same benefits, often having more disadvantages. People should check out www.fooddialogues.com for more information.