The second largest supermarket chain in South Africa, Pick n Pay, has committed to source all of its pork from farmers who do not use sow stalls by December 2016.
This announcement is a hugely welcome development and comes after years of hard work on this issue by Compassion in World Farming in South Africa.
Instead of tiny crates little bigger than the pregnant sows themselves, the expectant mother pigs will be kept in group housing where they will have the freedom to move around and socialise.
Philip Lymbery, our CEO, says the news shows farm animal welfare is rising up the agenda in South Africa. He says: “We are thrilled to hear that another South African retailer has decided to improve the lives of pigs.
“It represents a big step forward for farm animal welfare in South Africa.”
In a statement David North, Pick n Pay Group Strategy and Corporate Affairs Director said: “We call on everyone in the retail and production chain in South Africa to support the steps we are taking and to introduce equivalent standards that would benefit the whole industry as well as the cause of animal welfare.”
Sow stalls are extreme confinement systems banned in the UK in 1999 and in the EU (apart from the first four weeks of a sow’s pregnancy) since January 1 last year.
They are symbolic of the very worst elements of factory farming that keep animals caged, crammed and confined. Pick n Pay can be proud of this important step forward for animal welfare.