Pigs are the fourth most intelligent species on the planet. They're considered to have the cognitive ability of 3-year old human children and are quite the experts at playing video games.
Much smarter than dogs, pigs are very social animals with many behaviours similar to ours - they share 98 percent of human DNA.
The "large white" breed was imported into Australia specifically for use in pig factories (piggeries). They've been altered to grow very fast, put on a lot of weight and develop pale skin, alterations that cause them to develop problems associated with weak bones and limited resistance to sunburn, reducing life expectancy from 12 years to 6, even in sanctuaries.
A farrowing crate is pictured below
Pigs are slaughtered between 3 and 6 months of age in the pork and bacon industries. In the majority of farms, sows are housed in crates barely larger than their own bodies after giving birth. The crates don't allow them to nuzzle their piglets who are left to fend for themselves until they can find their mother's teats. The mother is crated in an adjoining cage to the babies so they can feed, but she's unable to care for or protect them.
Tail docking of piglets pictured below
The sanctuary pigs are all factory rescues. We can determine this from the holes cue into their ears and their missing tails, which have been cut off without pain relief. In addition, mal piglets are neutered, and both genders have their ears and teeth cut without painkillers. There is footage of this being done to piglets in front of their mother, who hears her babies cries but is unable to escape her crate, or help them.
If allowed to care for their babies, pigs are amazing mothers who love to nuzzle, groom and cuddle with their babies.
Most of the time, these high 300kg animals are sweet and affectionate, but they can also be moody and strong willed and simply don't want to socialise sometimes, and they can give sanctuary carers a run for their money!
Pigs are passionate about belly rubs and it's a great way to make friends!