Tasmania puts €2m to free gestating sows by 2014
Australia plans to phase out the use of sow gestation stalls by 2017, but the Tasmanian government is putting in AUD2.5 million (€2.0 million) to speed up this process by two years, aiming for a complete ban by 2014.
The Tasmanian Minster of Agriculture, Bryan Green, has confirmed that in addition to a cap on the number of pens in production, no new battery hen operations will open.
Pork producers have voluntarily agreed to ban the use of stalls for sows, and since dong so 18 months ago, a third of pregnant sows are no longer confined. A representative of Australian Pork Limited, criticised the Tasmanian government, however, for trying to move faster than what farmers, and markets, can reasonably be expected to do.
Australia’s supermarkets, and Burger King, have since shown their support of the nation wide ban by announcing that they will only stock and use meat supplied by producers who abandoned sow stalls.
The money in the Tasmanian budget has been set aside to help farmers respond to consumer sensitivities.