The 2013 Sow Stall Ban
In 2001 the EU agreed the Pigs Directive (2008/120/EC), laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs, one of the results of which was the banning of the sow stall from 1 January 2013. The EU allowed producers a 11 year phase-out period and exemptions for the first four weeks of a sow’s pregnancy as well as the week before farrowing.
The ban on the sow stall has major welfare implications for breeding sows. Instead of spending 16 ½ weeks of her pregnancy in a stall, a sow will be kept in a group housing system for the majority of the time, allowing her to move around and interact socially with other sows.
A sow will spend months at a time confined in a stall.
Currently there are over 13 million breeding sows in the European Union.
The European Commission recently began infraction proceedings against 9 nations that are not compliant with the ban, despite producers having had since 2001 to prepare for and implement the changeover.
Compassion’s Project Pig campaign is working on ensuring all 28 EU nations comply with the ban in full. We use a variety of tactics from direct political lobbying, to media work, campaign actions, stunts, supporter e-mails and postcards as well as regular industry engagement. During 2012 our supporters sent over 1 million messages to key stakeholders to urge action towards full compliance.
To support the work of Project Pig, you can take our latest campaign action or make a donation.