Canadian Pork Council President Comments On Sow Stall Phasing Out

CANADA - Today, Maple Leaf Foods announced its intention to phase out the use of sow gestation stalls in favour of group housing in all of its hog operations over the next 10 years. This follows a similar announcement from the U.S.-based Smithfield Foods late last week.
calendar icon 1 February 2007
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The Canadian Pork Council recognizes the right of these firms to make marketing decisions to respond
to their companies’ needs. Both firms state that there is no conclusive evidence that one sow housing
system is better than another.

Animal welfare involves a host of factors, including housing, management, and barn environment.
Sow housing is only one of many that need to be addressed to have optimal animal welfare. The
Canadian Pork Council, in 2005, introduced its Animal Care Assessment (ACA) to set minimum
standards for care on Canadian hog farms. The ACA addresses critical facets of animal care, including

Our industry recognizes that some consumers have expressed concerns about current sow housing
systems, and the CPC remains committed to taking a leadership role in examining sow housing
alternatives. It will be important to fully understand the welfare and management implications of
current and new housing systems. Efforts to move to new systems should be supported, but only if the
new approaches lead to improved animal welfare.

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