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Draft Pig Code Raises Economic, Animal Welfare Concerns

26 July 2013
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - The chair of the National Farm Animal Care Council's Pig Code Development Committee says the proposed elimination of gestation stalls for housing pregnant sows is raising both economic and animal welfare concerns, Bruce Cochrane writes.

The 60 day public comment period for proposed changes to Canada's Pig Code of Practice ends 3 August.

Pig Code Development Committee chair Floran Possberg says the proposed elimination of the use of gestation stalls by 2024 has been a real lightning rod issue.

Floran Possberg-Pig Code Development Committee

There's been a lot of discussion from producers that this is a commitment on their part for very significant investment in an industry that's been very challenged with poor profits, in some cases very significant losses so our producers are asking us, where's the money coming from?

The concern, one is money but the other is that if they don't have money to convert and the time comes where it says that they should have converted it will either force them out of business and we're not keen to do that or it will cause producers to go to systems that are very compromised because they don't have the resources to do a proper job of conversion.

If you don't have the proper resources to make conversions you could end up putting your animal in compromised animal welfare states in fact causing them more welfare problems than you're solving.

The Pig Code Development Committee will reconvene in August to review comments and consider any adjustments to the draft code.

Mr Possberg says the hope is, if that process goes smoothly, we could have a final code by the end of 2013.

ThePigSite News Desk

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