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Manitoba Pork Supports Updated Pig Welfare Code

11 March 2014

CANADA - The updated Code of Practice on pig welfare is just one more link in a chain of continuous improvement, says Manitoba Pork Council.

We are a few months into 2014 and continue to have a lot on our minds - biosecurity, PEDv risks, COOL and a focus on capturing the best price for our product. Manitoba Pork Council says it doe not end there either.

As world leaders in pork production, the Manitoba hog industry is committed to continuous improvement in many areas, including animal care and husbandry. The release on 6 March of the updated 'Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs' is a prime example.

Animal care and codes of practice are nothing new to Manitoba hog producers, who have a long history of taking great care of our livestock. The updated Code of Practice is just one more link in our chain of continuous improvement. It outlines enhancements in a number of areas related to raising pigs, most notably in the areas of sow housing and pain control.

The updated Code provides a sustainable strategy and guidance for the adoption of group housing that will ensure best animal care outcomes. The use of individual housing for sows provides numerous welfare advantages as well. The design of new barns must try to capture these advantages while providing animals with more freedom of movement. Guidance for designing new sow barns suited for group housing is available on the Council's web site.

Another Code change requires pain control during piglet processing (castration). This will not go into effect until 1 July 2016, allowing producers time to consult with veterinarians on the best options.

The Code review process, which took over three years to complete, will mean some changes for all of us. However, knowing that producers were involved from day one gives me confidence that the outcome is a balanced approach that we can adapt to.

Manitoba pork producers have a reputation for being world leaders at what we do. Manitoba Pork will continue to work with producers to help make our industry stronger.

ThePigSite News Desk

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