Farmscape for July 6, 2020
Research conducted by the University of Saskatchewan and the Prairie Swine Center will help producers prepare for new requirements due to come into effect in 2024 for gestating sows housed in stalls.
As of 2024, as part of the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs, new requirements will come into effect for pork producers who continue to house gestating sows in stalls.
As part of research conducted by the University of Saskatchewan and the Prairie Swine Centre to help producers prepare for those changes, scientists have found stall housed sows given 10 minutes of exercise per week appeared to be more comfortable, stereotypic behavior decreased and, among older parity sows, the number of stillborn piglets decreased.
Dr. Yolande Seddon, an Assistant Professor of Swine Behaviour and Welfare with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare, says information gathered through this work is important in the Code of Practice decision making process.
Clip-Dr. Yolande Seddon-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
Information from this research project has been used as part of the Code of Practice review when making decisions as to Code of Practice requirements for sow exercise and also there is a lot of interest from producers wanting to know about this.
I think this file also provides some information about how the gestation environment does influence the sow, certainly in the stereotypies and some of the productively measures we have, so the role that freedom of movement and choice for the sow might play in sow well being in these environments.
I think there's value in this research as part of the greater discussion about different housing systems.
This is looking at a comparison of the confinement housing system and how it influences the sow.
Dr. Seddon notes information gathered through this research is now ready for distribution and a webinar is being planned for this summer to share the results of the work.
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