Pleasing progress in pig welfare

Published on 20 June 2024

RSPCA Victoria has applauded the recommendations for the banning of sow stalls and farrowing crates, along with the provision of enrichment and research into alternatives to the use of carbon dioxide stunning, in a report released today.

The recommendations were tabled in Parliament today as part of the Legislative Council Economy and Infrastructure Committee’s Inquiry into pig welfare in Victoria to which RSPCA Victoria made a submission and gave evidence.

RSPCA Victoria’s CEO Dr Liz Walker welcomed the report, with the recommendations having real potential to significantly improve pig welfare in Victoria.

“We’re really pleased the report today has recognised many of the recommendations we put forward to improve the welfare of pigs in Victoria,” Dr Walker said.

“We know pigs are intelligent, social animals, who can and do feel positive and negative emotions, and we’re thrilled to see the recommendations in this report reflect that.

“We recognise the pig farming industry has made a lot of progress, however some existing farming and husbandry practices in the pig industry are causing pain, injury, suffering or distress to thousands of animals.

“We also know and acknowledge the majority of Victorians eat meat and will continue to do so, therefore it’s imperative we ensure animals within food production systems experience a good life and a humane death which is what our recommendations focused on.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the industry to continuously improve animal welfare and call on the Government to take the next step to improve pig welfare in Victoria.

“These suggested changes have the potential to bring our pork industry in line with other jurisdictions such as New Zealand, the UK and Canada, and better position the pork industry for a sustainable future at a time when animal welfare matters to many consumers.”

Among RSPCA Victoria’s priorities are:
• increasing investment into research into alternative stunning methods,
• phasing out close confinement such as sow and boar stalls and conventional farrowing crates,
• providing enrichment for pigs instead of barren environments,
• ending painful husbandry procedures for piglets and providing pain relief for procedures that continue, and
• the Victorian government leads the Australian Animal Standards and Guidelines process for the development of revised pig welfare standards.

For more information, visit RSPCA Knowledgebase here. Read the RSPCA’s submission to the inquiry here.

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