2014 Autumn - Farmers fare well with better animal welfare

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FPJ1101E - Sloyan, M (2014) - The Costs and Benefits of Animal Welfare: How the United Kingdom Pork Industry Adapted to Changes in Animal Welfare

FPJ1101E - Sloyan, M (2014) - The Costs and Benefits of Animal Welfare: How the United Kingdom Pork Industry Adapted to Changes in Animal Welfare, Farm Policy Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 33-7, Autumn, Surry Hills, Australia.

The United Kingdom was one of the world’s early movers regarding bans on the use of sow stalls in the pig farming industry. The Welfare of Pigs Regulations banning the use of sow stalls were passed in 1991, and came into effect in 1999. This transition proved disruptive for individual pig farmers and equated to an extra cost of £2.70 per pig and a 15% to 50% profit loss. Unluckily for the sector, this change occurred at a very tough time for the European pork market. From 1997 to 2008 the British pig herd decreased by 48% while British self-sufficiency in pork decreased from 82% to 48%. This article offers the farm sector’s perspective on this historical change and draws interesting lessons for the future of effective animal welfare in the European Union, calling for policies focusing on welfare outcomes rather than changes in production systems.

 

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