Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy, and Poultry
Farms to Humans and the Environment by David Kirby
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(Available at your local library, until they are closed.)
RAISING A STINK I 189
HOG FARROWING IN SWEDEN
In 1971, Sweden banned the use of tethers for restraining sows because
practice created an "extremely high incidence of traumatic injuries,"
Marlene Halverson, an advisor to the Animal Welfare Institute. A second
showed a higher rate of disease among "dry sows" (sows that were
not lactating) in crates, versus those loosely housed in groups.
By 1985, "deep-bedded housing systems" with individual feeding stalls had
become (and remain) the method of choice for housing dry sows in Sweden,
because of their improved efficiency, aesthetics, and neighbor
relations, and the
health and well-being of the animals.
Pigs are highly sentient, intelligent, and social creatures, and sows
herent rules of group identity and hierarchy. While these attributes are
ally ignored in CAFOs, Swedish farms take steps to ensure proper
and reduce stress on the herd. Females require about six and a half feet
space when meeting, to establish rank and avoid fights. Each sow needs
twenty-seven square feet to avoid stress on lower-ranked sows. Karen was
190 I ANIMAL FACTORY
amazed. She knew that dry sows at the Highlands barely had room to turn
Meanwhile, the correct mixing of urine and feces with straw can nearly
eliminate strong odors, especially compared to a pit-and-lagoon system.
fresh straw is added to wet spots, it helps keep bedding dry while
aerobic decomposition. "The straw-to-manure-balance provides a high car-
bon/nitrogen ratio, which binds nitrogen. The beds do not give off
hydrogen sulfide," Halverson said. "Two major manure emission sources are
thus controlled, and composting also destroys pathogens."
So, not only is the ratio of 25 to 1 (C/N) good for compost. It is also
good for the smells that comes from CAFOs.
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