The American Association of Swine Veterinarians recently modified its position on sow housing.
The Pork Checkoff notes the previous statement concentrated on pregnant sow housing while the new statement addresses both pregnant and farrowed sows, as well as their pigs.
At the request of AASV leadership, the Pig Welfare Committee reviewed the association's position statement on pregnant sow housing, which was approved in July. Following its review, the committee proposed a revised sow housing position statement for consideration by the AASV Board during its fall meeting. The board modified the proposed wording and adopted the following statement.
"As swine veterinarians, our mission is to protect and improve the health and well-being of the animal. Given the variability inherent in different housing systems, the American Association of Swine Veterinarians supports the use of sow housing configurations that:
• Provide every animal with access to appropriate food and water;
• Protect sows and piglets from detrimental effects associated with environmental extremes, particularly temperature extremes;
• Reduce exposure to hazards that result in disease, pain or injury to sows or piglets;
• Allow sows and piglets to express appropriate behaviors and minimize expression of inappropriate behaviors within the constraints of the housing type;
• Minimize aggression and competition between sows;
• Promote good air quality and allow proper sanitation; and
• Facilitate evaluation and care of individual animals while protecting worker safety
We strive to foster these essential components where supported by the scientific literature, in all housing systems. Our goal is to teach and promote appropriate stockmanship, which is as important as housing type in meeting the needs of the animals."