Actor Ryan Gosling has written an open letter urging officials in his native Canada to improve conditions for caged breeding pigs.
The Notebook star has teamed up with the Farm Sanctuary and Humane Society International/Canada to highlight the plight of female animals which are often kept in metal cages during pregnancy.
Gosling has heaped praise on officials at Canada's National Farm Animal Care Council (Nfacc), which oversees codes of practice and care for farm animals in the country, for their work improving conditions, but he wants to see more being done to help the pigs.
In a piece for Canada's Globe and Mail, he writes, "Currently, mother pigs are kept in these cages called 'gestation crates' for four months while pregnant, moved to another cage to give birth, re-impregnated and put back into a gestation crate for the cycle to repeat. It adds up to years of immobilisation and millions of smart, inquisitive animals relegated to iron maidens.
"The process has been criticised by veterinarians, animal protection advocates, consumers and even major food retailers as inhumane and unnecessary. While Nfacc's progress is important and laudable, there is a major loophole in the code that I hope will be closed.
"As written, the draft still allows the pork industry to lock pigs in gestation crates for up to five weeks at a time. Over a pig's short life, which is just four years long, this amounts to about nine months of solitary confinement in a cage so small she can't even turn her own body around."