The Australian pork industry's voluntary move away from the use of sow stalls by 2017, is making substantial progress, with around one in three sows now spending their pregnant lives sow stall free. This finding came from the most recent nationwide survey of pig producers, conducted by the industry's peak representative body, Australian Pork Limited (APL).
APL CEO Andrew Spencer said that the survey is part of the industry's ongoing monitoring of the progress being made on this extremely important issue.
Back in November 2010, at the APL Annual General Meeting, a resolution was overwhelmingly supported by Australian pork producers to voluntarily commit to the phase out of the use of sow stalls by 2017. No other pig industry in the world has voluntarily moved to undertake
such action. The results of this first survey, taken some 12 months later, are resounding proof that Australian pork producers are strongly committed to "walking the talk".
The survey also showed the peak use of sow stalls is occurring at between one and four weeks after mating with around 67% of sows still being in stalls at this time. 33% (or one in three sows) are not being housed in stalls at all during pregnancy.
Additionally, around 80% of production already complies with the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals - Pigs (3rd Edition, 2007) which requires by 2017 that sows can only be housed in stalls for up to six weeks of a pregnancy.
Mr Spencer said that this actually meant that 80% of the industry were five years ahead of the regulations. The other clear indicators of progress were the fact that on average, two thirds of sows, at any one point in time during pregnancy, were not in a stall at all and were housed
Australian pork producers will continue to closely monitor the progress made.
Source: Australian Pork Limited