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Tasmania Leads the Nation in Welfare of Pigs

by 5m Editor
10 June 2010, at 5:21am

AUSTRALIA - The Minister for Primary Industries Bryan Green today announced that Tasmania will lead the nation by moving to ban the use of dry sow stalls in piggeries.

The Government will also place restrictions on the time pregnant sows are allowed to be kept in stalls - three years before the planned introduction of new national animal welfare regulations.

“This clearly puts Tasmania ahead of other States in improving the welfare of pigs,“ Mr Green said.

Mr Green said he took advice from the Tasmanian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee which consulted scientists, industry representatives and animal welfare groups before making his decision.

“The debate over the use of sow stalls has been going on for a long time and needs to be resolved.

Mr Green said the bans would be phased in to allow pig producers time to adjust to the changes.

The restrictions on pregnant sows will take effect from 2014 and the routine use of dry sow stalls will be banned from 2017.

“This will give producers time to adjust to the changes because managing sows will require more space, new equipment and different animal husbandry practices.

“I would not impose this on pig producers if I did not think it was necessary both from an animal welfare perspective and for the future of our pork industry in Tasmania.

Mr Green urged Tasmanians and consumers around Australia to support the State’s pig producers by buying only Tasmanian-produced pork.

“If we want to improve the welfare of production sows then now is the time to buy Tasmania pork because it will help our producers make the transition.

“There is a compelling argument to phase out sow stalls even though the national code only proposes restrictions on their use after 2017.

“I acknowledge there is a national approach to animal welfare standards in regard to sow stalls but the State Government accepted those as minimum requirements and made it clear it reserved the right to implement more rigorous standards in Tasmania.“