November 22, 2011
Australian pork producers phase out sow stalls
Approximately one third of Australia's pork industry has since phased out sow stalls voluntarily following an agreement made a year ago, reports ABC.
Andrew Spencer, from Australian Pork Limited, says it's been open with animal welfare groups about the progress.
"Whilst we don't agree on all aspects of pig production with those bodies, they do actually support what we're doing on sow stalls, and they understand that the industry wants to make this a success," he said.
"Livestock industries that take decisions such as the one the pig industry has taken around sow stalls should get the support of the community and they should get the support of government to be successful with that, otherwise it won't be happening in the future."
But Animals Australia, which filmed the horrific scenes of animals being slaughtered in Indonesian abattoirs earlier this year, says progress is too slow.
Executive director, Glynis Oogjes, says consumers shouldn't buy pork until it is sow-stall free.
"Sows are in stalls right as we speak, and particularly coming up to Christmas when people will have traditionally bought ham for Christmas," she said.
"Really that choice should be reconsidered in my view, because there is no labelling of pork to give people an indication of the background and whether or not the sows that produced that pork were actually kept in sow stalls."
APL's efforts are supported by the RSPCA. Melina Tensen is the society's scientific officer for farm animals.
"What we need is pork consumers to do is to continue to support Australian pig farmers by buying Australian pork because all this effort of the pig industry in Australia is not going to be of very much use if the general public buys imported pork that may be of a lower welfare standard," Ms Tensen said.