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How Free is Sow Stall Free? Incremental Regulatory Reform and Industry Co-optation of Activism
Law & Policy  (IF1.432),  Pub Date : 2020-07-01, DOI: 10.1111/lapo.12154
RACHEL Carey, Christine Parker, Gyorgy Scrinis

This article critically examines how interactions between social movement activism, supermarkets, and the pork industry led to the voluntary adoption of “sow stall free” standards in Australia. We “backwards map” the regulatory space behind “sow stall free” products to show how the movement against factory farming became selectively focused on the abolition of one form of confinement for sows, rather than other forms of confinement and the conditions of the sows’ offspring, the piglets that are consumed. We argue that this facilitated an incremental shift to “sow stall free” production, allowing the concept of pig welfare to be corporatized in a way that maintains the dominant model of factory farmed pig meat production.