The RSPCA today applauded the Tasmanian Government’s decision to phase out the use of dry sow stalls from 2014 – the first state in Australia to do so.
RSPCA Australia CEO, Heather Neil, said the announcement sent a strong signal to other state governments that sow stalls are no longer an acceptable component of pig production.
“This decision by the Tasmanian Government is progressive and really sets the scene for the future of Australian pig farming,” said Ms Neil.
“Life for a sow confined to a stall is miserable. The lack of movement and exercise leads to painful muscle and bone problems and they are unable to express the most basic of natural behaviours, like rooting and wallowing.”
The RSPCA has long campaigned for a ban on sow stalls and applauds the Tasmanian Government for consistently setting the bar higher than the National Code.
The disconnect between the paddock and the plate, which has long frustrated animal welfarists and farmers alike, is decreasing, with a more discerning consumer emerging.
“That means more demand for food from animals farmed humanely, greater incentive for producers to change their practices, and more pigs in systems that better meet their health and welfare needs.
“By signaling a phase-out now, the Tasmanian Government has done the right thing by farmers and the right thing by animals. Producers have time to adjust to the changes, with a total ban on sow stalls to be enforced in 2017.
“Animal welfare has finally been put first and that’s a welcome shift in thinking - one we hope catches on in other states.”