News 586 views last update:Apr 25, 2007

RSPCA does not agree with crate law

The Australian animal welfare organisation RSPCA does not agree with the new legislation allowing pig producers to continue the use of sow stalls.

The Primary Industries Ministerial Council (PIMC) accepted a draft of the proposed model code of practice that will allow sow stalls to be used for a maximum period of six weeks, to be implemented over ten years.

RSPCA Australia chief scientist Dr Bidda Jones said before the PIMC meeting that it was a chance for governments to act decisively to prevent cruelty to pigs - by phasing out the stalls altogether.

She said, "The RSPCA is opposed to the use of sow stalls because they place extreme restrictions on the movement and behaviour of sows."

According to the industry's own figures, 68% of farmers in Australia already comply with the proposed code in terms of their use of sow stalls.

World policy
The use of gestation crates is being discussed at several places in the world. In the EU, all sow stalls have to disappear before January 1st, 2007.

In the USA, sow stalls have been forbidden in several states now. In addition, Smithfield and Maple Leaf have announced to phase out sow stall use.

Related news item:
• Aussie pig farmers to change stalls before 2017 (23 April 2007)

Related websites:
• Royal Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)
• Smithfield
• Maple Leaf

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