New animal welfare regulations relating to pigs came into effect on 1 July 2013.
There has already been some media coverage of the new regulations that restrict the use of sow stalls, however the new regulations cover more than just the issue of sow stalls. They also provide for legally enforceable care and management standards for all pig owners (ie not just commercial pig producers, but all smallholders and hobby farmers keeping pigs).
These care and management standards cover issues such as food and water, housing, space allowance, farrowing crates, husbandry procedures and emergency euthanasia. While people practising good pig husbandry standards are probably already meeting the new care and management standards, they should still take the trouble to get a copy of the new regulations and check them against what they are doing.
The new restrictions on sow stalls means that the use of sow gestation stalls is no longer permitted, except for the purpose of mating and then for no more than 10 days in a reproductive cycle. The Tasmanian Government has provided $500,000 to help producers who have been using sow stalls to modify their pig housing.
Please note that the new restrictions apply to sow gestation stalls and not to farrowing crates used during lactation.
Further information and a link to the Animal Welfare (Pigs) Regulations 2013 are available on the DPIPWE website.
For enquiries about the new pig welfare regulations, please contact the Animal Biosecurity and Welfare Branch at DPIPWE on 1300 368 550, or email AnimalWelfare.Enquiries@ dpipwe.tas.gov.au