Farmers Fear Possible Sow Stall Ban

AUSTRALIA - Pig farmers in the state of New South Wales are reported to be reluctant to end the use of stalls for sows.
calendar icon 15 July 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Pork producers in central-west NSW are 'apprehensive' about banning sow stalls, accoridng to ABC.

Australian Pork Limited is asking producers if they think consumers can be convinced that sow stalls are good for animal welfare. Tasmania is phasing out the stalls, and there is pressure for all states to do so.

About 50 people involved in the industry attended a meeting in Young last night to discuss the issue.

A member of the NSW Farmers' Association Pork Committee, Ean Pollard, says banning sow stalls will create more problems for the industry.

He said: "Producers are being asked to look at this new system which requires more housing, more management skills and more capital costs. A lot of the animal welfare groups believe [the new system] is better, but it will produce worse outcomes for farmers."

Last night, producers argued they were committed to reducing the stress of pregnant sows by using the pens.

Dugald Walker of Young says the consumer interest in banning the sow stalls is just "chatter".

He told ABC: "The problem isn't actually with consumers. They want safe and wholesome food. They're not terribly concerned, not as concerned as journalists and others make them out to be.

"They're not happy if they're confronted by mulesing, dehorning or abattoir footage or dry sow stalls, but they're not really the problem."

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