Investigation underway after complaint about 'cruel' sow stalls on South Island pig farm

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an investigation into a South Island pig farm after it was alleged they were illegally keeping pregnant pigs in so-called sow stalls.

Video from the farm was secretly filmed by animal rights activists. Source: 1 NEWS

Animal activist group Farmwatch filmed inside the piggery and captured what they say are pregnant pigs just weeks before giving birth. 1 NEWS has been unable to verify this footage independently.

The use of sow stalls was restricted in 2015 after a TVNZ Sunday investigation and can they can only be used for up to seven days and only during mating.

SAFE animal ambassador Hans Kriek said both farmers and MPI need to crack down on the overuse of sow crates.

"Such a cruel system and they were banned for cruelty reasons," he said.

"So for farmers to carry on shows a blatant disregard for the animals and for the law."

MPI says it's looking at the farm and continues to check pig farms for compliance.

Tougher regulations on stalls come into force in October which could result in a fine up to $25,000 for breaking the welfare code.