The Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) validation of sow gestation stalls as not being humane and not sustainable is “absolutely not justifiable,” said Janeen Salek-Johnson, associate professor of animal well-being, University of Illinois. The comments were made in an interview Tuesday with Mike Adams, host of AgriTalk.
According to Johnson, HSUS’ efforts to eliminate sow gestation stalls are not based on science.
Johnson admits that today’s sow might “need a little bit more space than we give her,” however many producers have already given the animals more space and are raising the sows in a “well state of being.”
"The information HSUS is going around and bullying these companies to make changes is not based on current science,” Johnson says. “Based on science and my understanding of animal well-being, the information (HSUS) is conveying to get producers to change, is not truth.”
“It is unethical to ask some producers to make the change to group housing systems,” she adds. “I know from multiple measures of animal well-being that producers are raising their animals in a well state of being.”
In addition, Johnson believes that the demand by food retailers that pork suppliers change their housing method is unethical. “The demands are not based on sound science.”
On a personal note, Johnson said she has boycotted food retailers that have demanded pork producers eliminate gestation stalls.