Register for the webinar: Free Farrowing: Alternatives to the farrowing crate

In the last two decades, in many countries and production systems all across the globe gestation crates have disappeared to enhance sow welfare. Now bit by bit, the notion grows that during lactation a sow must also be able to stretch her legs. In various countries legislation has been accepted in that direction, and it is likely farrowing crates will have to disappear in the European Union by 2027. Plenty of reasons therefore to look into alternatives. How can sows be kept instead during farrowing and lactation? Which systems work and why? This webinar shares a (legal) background, practical applicable knowledge according to the latest scientific insights and a testimonial from a swine farmer that converted to a free farrowing system.

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Dr. Emma Baxter, Senior Researcher

‘A global overview of the political situation and farrowing legislation’

Current and proposed regulations relating to prohibiting the use of farrowing crates in Europe and beyond. European Commission response to ‘End the Cage Age’ European Citizen’s Initiative. Highlight some labelling schemes with Free Farrowing and/or Free Lactation specifications. Level of transition achieved so far, highlighting performance in CH, SE and NO for established Free Farrowing and/or Free Lactation countries. 

Vivi Aarestrup Moustsen, Ph.D., Chief scientist

‘Key decisions and choices when deciding on alternatives to farrowing crates’

Deciding for an indoor alternative to farrowing crates includes deciding on pen size, how to temporarily confine the sow – or not confine at all, flooring, managing litter size and daily work routines. It also includes pen layout regarding functional areas for the sow, piglet safety, and being safe and efficient to work in – and it includes environmental impact, green-house gases and welfare of pigs. The presentation will take the attendants through system choices and key design/management points 

Asger Krogsgaard, Danish pig producer

‘Experiences from a pig farmer: I chose loose lactation and would do it again’

Asger in dialogue with his family decided to build for loose lactating sows. In the presentation he will discuss his pen design, including pen size, option to confine, flooring and work routines – as well as experiences regarding productivity and economic outcome – and his three best advices to his colleagues.

Vincent ter Beek, Host and Editor Pig Progress