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CPC welcomes Maple Leaf crate ban

The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) is pleased to see that Maple Leaf Foods has decided to abandon the use of gestation crates in favour of group housing in all its production sites over the next ten years.

In a reaction, the council's president Clare Schlegel, said: "Our industry recognises that some consumers have expressed concerns about current sow housing systems, and the CPC remains committed to taking a leadership role in examining sow housing alternatives."


Maple Leaf's announcement came shortly after a similar news release by Smithfield Foods.

Schlegel said, "The Canadian Pork Council recognises the right of these firms to make marketing decisions to respond to their companies' needs. Both firms state that there is no conclusive evidence that one sow housing system is better than another."


The CPC is rather conscious about animal welfare. In 2005, the council introduced its Animal Care Assessment (ACA), addressing critical facets of animal care, including housing.

"Animal welfare involves a host of factors, including housing, management, and barn environment. Sow housing is only one of many that need to be addressed to have optimal animal welfare."


She continued, "It will be important to fully understand the welfare and management implications of current and new housing systems. Efforts to move to new systems should be supported, but only if the new approaches lead to improved animal welfare."

Related news items:
• Canadian doubts about gestation crate bans (15 Feb 2007)
• Maple Leaf cancels sow gestation crates (2 Feb 2007)
• NPPC: gestation crates are also appropriate (26 Jan 2007)
• Smithfield ends use of gestation crates (26 Jan 2007)

Related web sites:
• Canadian Pork Council (CPC)
• Maple Leaf
• Smithfield Foods

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