New report: EU member states' approach to pig welfare rules

Wageningen University in the Netherlands has published a new report about the EU welfare legislation on pigs. They conclude that group housing of sows is implemented, but was never tested for applicability, that surgical castration may be an issue in future legislation, and that members states are interested but hesitant to change the rules on farrowing systems and tail docking of piglets.

An inventory was performed by Wageningen University (WUR) of 1) the present situation regarding the implementation of Directive 2008/120/EC and 2) national government funded research related to the

WUR was also asked to list national government funded research on pig welfare issues related to the Directive, covering the last five years. A brief questionnaire was sent to government officials, welfare scientists or both to obtain the relevant information. Except for two relative new members, all states have implemented Directive 2008/120/EC. A limited number of countries formulated stricter or additional demands to the EU legislation.

Floor area, floor design and group housing of sows are the main themes with additional demands. Governments of more than half the member states fund research on pig welfare issues. The main themes are floor design, group housing, environmental enrichment, castration and farrowing pens.

Click here to go to the full report. (PDF)

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