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2013 update

The British pig industry continued its aggressive campaigning to ensure that the new EU regulations banning traditional sow stalls are properly enforced next year, as the debate about sow welfare seemed to be spreading to other quarters of the globe.

During April BPEX launched a report ('Market Impact of EU Regulations on Group Housing of Sows') examining some possible market scenarios following the EU ban on use of sow stalls for pregnant sows in January 2013 – all of which pointed to a significant reduction in EU pig supplies in the coming year.

The strong campaigning continued through May and BPEX launched a new website ('Countdown to 1-1-13') to provide ‘regular updates’ on issues relating to the EU stall ban.

The Danish position in relation to the 2013 stall ban, and the expectation of full compliance by producers in Denmark, was discussed at length in a special feature in the Meat Trades Journal. A number of the articles can be accessed at Global Meat News – they appear in the 'Spotlight' area in the top right hand corner of the page – numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5.

The debate about confinement of sows during pregnancy has spread beyond the EU borders. In the US, retailer Safeway and fast food operators, Burger King, MacDonald’s and Wendy’s all announced plans to phase out the use of sow stalls from their supply chains. Australian pig producers have agreed to phase out sow stalls but by 2017, while retailer Coles plan to stop taking pig meat from suppliers using stalls by 2014.