Results of a survey issued at World Pork Expo show that the overwhelming majority of the U.S. sow herd spends some time in individual housing. The findings confirm National Pork Producer’s concerns about recent pronouncements by food companies that they will use only pork from operations that are gestation-stall free. The survey, conducted by University of Missouri extension economist Ron Plain, found that currently only 17.3 percent of sows spend a portion of gestation in open pens.
The survey did reveal that some producers are moving away from using gestation stalls. When asked about plans to put more sows in open pens, the largest operations indicated that 23.8 percent of their sows would be in them in two years, operations of 10,000-99,999 sows would have 21.3 of their pigs in such pens and operations of 1,000-9,999 would have 20.7 percent.
NPPC President R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, North Carolina, says – these food companies obviously haven’t thought through the complexities, logistics or implications of their requests. According to Hunt, – simply making an announcement without understanding the entire supply chain’s ability to meet these requests or the challenges involved is utterly befuddling. We feel it is important to have this first-hand information available to our customers.
Source: NAFB News Seervice