Christine said producers in the UK, which banned sow stalls
in 1999, are being undermined by this cheaper, "illegal" pigmeat.
After last month's embarrassing discovery that 30 British egg producers were flouting an EU ban on battery cages, Defra is seeking reassurance from British pig farmers that they are 100% compliant with an impending ban on sow stalls
30 *** Sow housing treatment: (pregnancy to lactation) SC = Sow stall
to farrowing crate, GC = Small group with individual trough (5 sows/group/pen) to farrowing crate, EC = ESF (40 sows/feeding station/pen) to farrowing crate, EG = ESF (40 sows/feeding station/pen) to group farrowing pen (10 litters/unit/pen).
Though welfare standards in the UK are sometimes higher than in Europe - where sow stalls
remain in use in some countries - many British pig farms are overcrowded, filthy, and rife with dead and dying, neglected animals, claim the group.
Other member states have indeed signed up to ban tethers, but the equally cruel sow stalls
will still be legal.
are still a very popular form of gestation housing in Asia area, although they are being phased out in Europe as a result of concerns about sow welfare (SVC, 1997).
For a start, European pig farmers are allowed to use what are known as sow stalls
, which are tiny metal cages where the sows are kept confined for pretty much their entire lives.
Bpex has put together a report into the new sow stall
rules and their impact on the supply chain that it is sending out to retailers.
REPORT Giovanni La Via BAN 18 EU member states will be compliant with new sow stall
rules when they come into effect in 2013
WELFARE New EU sow stall
rules come into effect in 2013 - they have been banned in the UK since 1999
Some EU Member States are reporting that "significant numbers" of producers are set to quit the industry because they are either unable or unwilling to comply with the sow stall
In Europe, a pregnant sow typically spends her 16-week pregnancy confined in a sow stall
- often no more than a narrow metal cage where there is barely room to move or turn.