In an effort to provide objective, scientific information on dry-sow (gestation) housing in commercial pork production, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology released a new issue paper called “Scientific Assessment of the Welfare of Dry Sows Kept in Individual Accommodations.”

The paper provides a review of the most pertinent scientific literature on the well-being of dry sows housed in individual gestation accommodations — referred to as IGAs. The nine-member international task force evaluated the scientific evidence of IGAs for sows, including behavior, nutrition and feeding, reproduction, clinical examination and health, manure management, ergonomic and worker safety, system design considerations and future directions. 

“Too few statistically adequate, scientifically controlled trials on industry farms have been conducted; many reports are not useful for critical evaluation, and thus for developing public policy,” says Stanley Curtis, animal scientist, University of Illinois and task force chairman.  “More large-scale, on-farm, multidisciplinary, scientifically robust research and development are needed before rigid regulations should be imposed.”

The full text of the paper (Issue Paper 42, 20 pp.) is available for free on the CAST Web site.  To access it, click here.

CAST is an international consortium of 36 scientific and professional societies. It assembles, interprets and communicates credible science-based information regionally, nationally and internationally to legislators, regulators and many others.