The State Government today urged pork producers to familiarise themselves with a new set of animal welfare regulations for the Western Australian pig industry.
The Animal Welfare (Pig Industry) Regulations 2010 provide for the welfare of commercially-kept pigs.
Key regulations include:
· new minimum space requirements for pig enclosures
· six-week limit on the time a sow can be kept in a farrowing crate
· from 2017, a six-week limit on the time a pregnant sow can be confined in a sow stall.
The new regulations are derived from the Australian Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals - Pigs 3rd Edition 2008.
Key elements of the code are being applied across Australia through the introduction of regulations in each jurisdiction.
Acting Local Government Minister Bill Marmion said this reflected all States and Territories' desire to have a nationally consistent approach to the implementation and enforcement of animal welfare standards.
The Department of Local Government, which administers and enforces the Animal Welfare Act 2002, and the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia, worked together in drafting the new regulations.
Agricultural and Food Minister Terry Redman said the regulations followed from a national consultative process which involved peak pig industry bodies, including the Western Australian Pork Producers' Association, and animal welfare groups.
“The national consultation process aims to ensure acceptable and agreed standards of livestock welfare are practised in Australia,” Mr Redman said. “The regulations seek to find a balance between providing for the pigs' health and welfare needs and the challenges faced by managers who, in many cases, are in charge of significant numbers of them.”
Mr Marmion said the regulations reflected the State Government's determination to achieve high standards of animal welfare, including those in livestock industries.
A $2,500 maximum penalty applies under the new regulations and come into effect immediately the regulations are gazetted.