Discussions Aimed at Revising Pig Code of Practice

by 5m Editor
16 February 2012, at 8:56am

CANADA - The Chair of the National Farm Animal Care Council's Pig Code Development Committee says space allowance and the use of gestation stalls are among the key issues being discussed as revisions to the Pig Code of Practice are considered, Bruce Cochrane writes.

The Pig Code of Practice, which outlines minimum standards for the care of pigs, was last updated in 1993.

The National Farm Animal Care Council’s Pig Code Development Committee, which is made up of pork producers, practicing veterinarians, swine researchers and representatives of government and animal welfare organizations, has been working on revising the code for just over a year.

Committee Chair Florian Possberg says one of the areas that's getting a fair amount of attention is space allowance.

Florian Possberg-Pig Code Development Committee

We have operations that are fully indoors and over time productivity levels have increased and in some instances the space has not increased as well.

What we're struggling a bit with is what is a realistic minimum space allowance.

We're having a lot of discussion on that.

For some producers they would already meet probably what will be proposed.

In some cases though it may require adjustments to the operations.

We're also looking at gestation stalls for housing our pregnant females.

There may very well end up being some changes there and again it could end up meaning that producers will have to modify the design of their facilities to meet the code, if at the end of the day we can do it in a commons sense way and give our animals better conditions, then I think it's something that's very appropriate for us to embark on.

Mr Possberg expects the first draft of the new code to be ready this summer.

He says that draft will be revised based on stakeholder input and the goal is to have a revised code ready for publication by June or July of 2013.