Light Shed on Costs of Proposed Changes to Pig Code of Practice

CANADA - The president and CEO of the Prairie Swine Centre says an economic analysis will shed light on the anticipated costs of complying with a proposed updated Canadian Pig Code of Practice, Bruce Cochrane writes.
calendar icon 7 May 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

In anticipation of the planned 1 June public release of a proposed updated code of practice for the care of pigs in Canada an analysis of the economic impact of any changes to the code on producers is being conducted on behalf of the Canadian pork industry.

Lee Whttington, the president and CEO of the Saskatoon based Prairie Swine Centre, says the analysis will be released as part of the 60 day public evaluation process.

Lee Whttington-Prairie Swine Centre

This particular code has changes in sow housing recommended, space allowance for piglets in nurseries, for grower-finisher pigs, some new recommendations for pain control, particularly at castration and environmental enrichment.

These are four areas that involve not just a change of management but in a lot of those cases an actual change of the physical structure of the barn and so the industry has decided to do an economic analysis because to add more space for instance is extremely expensive and we want to be sure that the discussion that takes place in society is a balanced one.

Yes, we could provide more space for pigs and the science would suggest perhaps they could grow a little quicker.

The other side of the ledger is, what's it going to cost the industry and eventually society and consumers to have that extra space so I think it's a legitimate part of the discussion going forward.

Mr Whittington notes pork production per sow has doubled in the past 30 years so there's no question pork producers are innovative and do embrace change.

He says, if they look at the codes and at the cost of complying with those codes and see an opportunity to improve the welfare of the animals and the welfare of their businesses he expects them to embrace those parts going forward.

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