The pig industry's transitions to group sow housing ; economic and welfare assessment
The global pig industry is facing major pressure to improve animal welfare, driven by grow-ing public animal welfare concern, legislation, increased attention to corporate social re-sponsibility and global recognition of animal welfare through international agreements of major institutions such as the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO, 2016) and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE, 2014). European welfare legislation (EU, 2009) on sow stalls is now well established, and similar guidelines and commitments are being made by countries, wider food industry and major producers. These global societal and busi-ness commitments to better animal welfare will impact producers, so this project aimed to assess the economic viability of transition to group sow housing, how well the methods adopted deliver welfare, and what is making the transition work. Economic and animal welfare evidence was developed in partnership between agri bench-mark, based at the Thünen Institute of Farm Economics in Germany, and animal welfare sci-entists based at World Animal Protection, an international animal NGO. agri benchmark un-dertook assessments of economics and productivity, while World Animal Protection scien-tists delivered on farm animal welfare assessments. The case studies covered different forms of group sow housing in Brazil, Netherlands and Spain. Wherever possible, data was ob-tained to compare group housing with stall systems...