A man guides a litter of pigs to their enclosure after feeding them on a rainy day in Greater Noida, India, Friday, July 27, 2018. India gets its annual monsoon rains from June to September. (AP Photo/R S Iyer)
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Recently released undercover video showing pigs being kicked, hit and punched at a Kentucky supplier for the world's largest meat producer drew prompt condemnation from animal rights groups and the agricultural industry alike.Sows account for only about 6 percent of the pigs on American farms, but pork producers have been slow to give up confinement, said Josh Balk, vice president of farm animal protection for The Humane Society of the United States.The world's largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods, announced in January it had switched to open group housing for pregnant pigs at its company-owned U.S. farms.An estimated 75 percent of U.S. pig farms regularly use gestation stalls.However, even most of those farms still use gestation stalls when sows are artificially inseminated, and some use them to test whether the sows are pregnant, council spokesman David Warner said. Gestation stalls are intended to minimize fighting among hierarchical sows and protect workers from the pregnant animals, which can weigh between 350 and 450 pounds (160 and 200 kilograms), said Sarah Crawford, assistant vice president of animal welfare for the National Pork Board in Des Moines, Iowa.
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