What are the issues with sow stalls?

In Australia, most pigs are housed in intensive indoor systems. In these intensive systems, pigs may be confined and raised in barren environments, which leads to a higher risk of pigs experiencing poor welfare outcomes. Pork producers in WA are permitted to confine pregnant sows in individual stalls for up to six weeks at a time, the equivalent of one-third of their gestation. While in these stalls, sows are unable to perform normal behaviours such as foraging, rooting, or interacting socially with other pigs. The RSPCA opposes housing systems that confine pigs for any extended period, including the use of sow stalls and farrowing crates.

What’s being done about it?

RSPCA WA supports the Australian pig industry’s voluntary phase out of sow stalls to housing systems where sows are housed in groups. A 2019/20 industry survey reported that 91 per cent of production used completely gestation stall free systems.

We are now calling on the Western Australian Government to legislate a ban on sow stalls in this term of government. You can learn more about the animal welfare issues associated with sow stalls here