New Undercover Footage: Pigs Driven Mad by Extreme Confinement

Mercy For Animals just released some of the most horrific animal cruelty footage ever made public. Taken at a massive pig farm in Nebraska and featured in the New York Times, the undercover footage reveals pigs being driven mad by boredom and stress. 

Our investigator documented pregnant pigs, each confined to a cramped gestation crate—a metal cage barely larger than a pig’s body—unable to lie down comfortably or turn around. Deprived of mental and social stimulation, these pigs experience depression-like states. They repeatedly sway and nod their heads and bite the bars of their cages—signs of serious mental collapse. Many suffer bloody wounds from the cage bars. 

Pigs who are too sick, injured, or exhausted to walk on their own—often called “downed” pigs—are left to suffer without proper veterinary care. The footage captures one pig left for hours to die in her own waste, a common fate for farmed animals who will not survive to reach slaughter.

Downed pig laying on the floor in factory farm.

Pregnant pigs are moved to farrowing crates before giving birth. Like gestation crates, farrowing crates are so small that mother pigs are unable to turn around and can barely take even one step. Pigs attempted “to hide their piglets by nudging them with their nose under their water or feed trough,” said our investigator. “Others would make barking sounds in our presence and would lunge at us from behind bars.”

Our investigator documented barn floors and animal feed infested with maggots and flies, and piglets born directly into piles of feces. The footage shows stillbirths and miscarriages, as well as mother pigs suffering the pain of exposed organs after labor. 

Sick and dead piglets on factory farm.

The animals are so tightly confined that some piglets become trapped under their mothers, who are unable to move and free them. Live baby pigs are piled and stored in trash bins for many hours before being gassed with CO2. The piglets who survive the first round of gas are gassed again.

Babies are taken away from their mothers just a few days after they are born, and the mothers are immediately forced back into restrictive gestation crates to continue the cycle of cruelty.

Take Action

Conditions like these are standard in factory farms across the country, and the pork industry is desperately fighting to keep it this way. Pro-pork members of Congress recently reintroduced the EATS Act, a dangerous bill that aims to override state anti-confinement laws and would have untold consequences for countless animals.

Help fight back by urging your members of Congress to oppose the EATS Act! Visit to take action.