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Sows' welfare worse than expected

News Section Icon Published 06/02/2013

Over one month into the official partial sow stall ban and the news is even more devastating than expected.

Despite being given 11 years in which to prepare for it, recent figures attributed to the European Commission, reveal that an appalling 17 out of 27 EU member states have not complied with the sow stall ban.

Philip Lymbery, Compassion in World Farming's CEO, says: "Member States needs to act decisively on this matter and show non-compliant farmers that there are consequences for breaking the law. Hefty fines should be implemented to those who continue to flout the law.

"Farmers from countries obeying the law are the ones disadvantaged and who are being punished. This must change. It is unjust, completely preventable and there is no excuse for it."

To aid those who have yet to comply with the legislation, and to ensure that any new or converted housing system delivers a good standard of welfare for sows, Compassion's Food Business team has produced a technical booklet. The booklet outlines examples of well designed and managed group housing systems and provides practical management solutions and tips.

Acting Director of Food Business, Dr. Tracey Jones says: "We want to help farmers reach a level of compliance that keeps sow welfare at the forefront of commercial systems. Our technical booklet offers guidance and pragmatic advice for indoor producers. We're here to communicate with food companies, retailers and producers and to help them achieve higher welfare standards throughout the food chain."

Until all welfare aspects for sows and meat pigs have been met within indoor systems, Compassion urges consumers to buy pig products from free-range or outdoor reared / outdoor bred systems (finished in straw barns) that deliver a higher welfare potential.

Find out more:

  • Find out more about the recommendations of the Food Business team's technical booklet.
  • Find out more about Compassion's Project Pig campaign to ensure that all 27 EU nations comply with the ban in full.

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