70% of sows in North West Germany now in group housing
Approximately 70% of the total number of sows in North West Germany can now be found in group housing. In numbers of farms, the percentage is lower, about 50%. Another 30% has only partially switched to group housing yet.
These figures were made public by the Danish pig producers organisation LDS using research focusing on the German piglet market. LDS carried out the research in cooperation with the analysis bureau Produkt + Markt.
In the European Union, it is no longer allowed to keep gestating sows in sow stalls, also known as gestation crates, as from January 1, 2013. In Northern Europe, the pig industry has made a great effort to adjust the farms to meet this deadline; in Southern Europe, however, many farms have not reached the stage of transformation. Therefore, some have launched a plea for postponing the implementation of the EU directive.
Germany does not need postponement, said LDS. The North West of Germany, which comprises of North Rhine Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, has a market share of 52% in total German piglet production – and 64% of total finisher pig production. Only a minority among the pig producers in this area (13%) believes the deadline will be postponed.
In Denmark, about 70% of the sows as well can be found in 70%.