New draft code limits sow stalls use in New Zealand
The New Zealand National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) has released a draft code for its reviewed Animal Welfare (Pigs) Code of Welfare 2005.
The review was programmed on issues surrounding the use of confinement systems (such as farrowing crates and dry sow stalls) in pig production could be re-examined.
While the draft code does not immediately ban the use of crates and stalls, it does propose new limits for the amount of time they can be used post mating/farrowing and proposes to prohibit the use of sow stalls for all use after a date to be determined after the consultation process.
Accordingly, the draft code contains standards that:
limit the use of farrowing crates to four weeks post-farrowing from the date the code is issued
limit the use of dry sow stalls to four weeks post-mating after 31 December 2012
prohibit the use of dry sow stalls at a date to be determined following the consultation process.
NAWAC chairman John Hellstrom said that the challenge in modern day pig production lies in finding viable alternative management systems for industry that improves animal welfare overall.
As such, the review has re-affirmed NAWACâ€™s belief that the use of dry sow stalls and farrowing crates should be eventually phased out, but only when other viable options are possible said Hellstrom.