In response to the Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) release of an undercover video associated with Seaboard Foods’ and Prestage Farms’ gestation-sow stall housing practices, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) released the following statement:
“Hog farmers are committed to producing safe, affordable and healthful foods for consumers and doing so within industry standards and practices that have been designed with input from veterinarians and other animal-care experts. Providing humane and compassionate care for their pigs at every stage of life is one of the ethical principles to which U.S. hog farmers adhere.
The U.S. pork industry is extremely diverse in the types and sizes of operations and in how sows are housed. Sows can be housed individually, in groups or in a combination thereof. Much research has been done to determine the well-being of gestating sows kept in group and individual housing. There is no scientific consensus on the best way to house gestating sows because each type of housing system has inherent advantages and disadvantages.
NPPC supports the position taken by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, which recognize gestation stalls and group housing systems as appropriate for providing for the well-being of sows during pregnancy. They also state that the key factor that most affects animal well-being is husbandry skills – that is, the care given to each animal.”