This dossier aims to help Competent Authorities and other stakeholders with issues related to sow group-housing and mixing. The dossier is updated periodically by the EURCAW-Pigs team. The text is meant to support Competent Authorities, and is not legally binding.
The legal requirements related to group-housing and mixing of sows can be found in Council Directives 98/58/EC on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes, and 2008/120/EC on minimum standards for the protection of pigs. In EURCAW-Pigs' Thematic factsheet on group-housing and mixing of sows, the relevant legal requirements are summarized and presented in conjunction with the four focus areas for inspections.
Sow welfare during pregnancy increases when group-housing facilities and management practices consider more the behavioural and physiological needs of sows and do not force them to cope with stressful housing environments. For mixing of sows, e.g., research results suggest to use particular mixing pens in which sows should be kept for the first 2-3 days after mixing. These pens should allow the sows to achieve a flight distance of 10-12 m.
Welfare indicators can be used to monitor the welfare of group-housed sows. For four key areas to focus on during inspections, EURCAW-Pigs identified relevant indicators to assess the welfare of pigs. Each indicator is described in an indicator factsheet, by suggesting an inspection and scoring method, and summarizing the underlying welfare concern and legal requirements.”
For good practices implementing EU legislation on-farm, inspiring examples and demonstrators are identified. The examples of commercial farms given here address some good practices regarding group-housing and mixing of sows. Demonstration of good practices are excellent ways and proven methods of dissemination of knowledge, exchanging ideas, harmonizing assessments, and changing attitudes.
Aus dem Themenblock "Sauenhaltung": Zufriedene und ruhige Sauen - das Futter als wichtiger Faktor
Vision Pig - MuD Tierschutz
In collaboration with national training bodies and national reference centers on animal welfare, EURCAW-Pigs develops training guides for the different welfare topics as standards for national training in EU Member States.
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