New compulsory minimum space requirements now apply for pigs housed indoors in Queensland.
From September 1, minimum requirements for stall and crate dimensions and floor space provisions for penned pigs come into effect.
Melanie Latter, animal welfare project officer from Biosecurity Queensland, said the new requirements aimed to improve the health and welfare of pigs.
“These new minimum space allowances are part of a nationally consistent approach to animal welfare,” Dr Latter said.
“This change follows the earlier introduction of other compulsory requirements for keeping pigs in Queensland, which came into effect in December 2010.
“Anyone who keeps pigs in Queensland, whether for production, display or as pets, should ensure they are familiar with all of the animal welfare requirements that apply.”
Housing requirements for keeping pigs in Queensland include:
•Sows may be kept in farrowing crates for a maximum of six weeks per reproduction cycle under normal circumstances.
•Pigs kept in stalls must be able to stand, stretch, lie and access feed and water without obstructions. These requirements ensure stalls are of a size that allows adequate room to move.
•Stalls and farrowing crates must now also meet minimum dimensions specified in the legislation.
•Pens used to keep individual breeding stock, group-housed gilts and sows, weaners, growers and finishers must also provide the minimum floor space per pig specified in the legislation.
These requirements are compulsory under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 and are enforceable by law.
Penalties of up to $33,000 may apply for an offence against a compulsory requirement, whilst an offence for a breach of a duty of care may attract up to $33,000 or one year imprisonment.
The minimum space requirements were developed in consultation with industry in the Model Code of Practice for Pig Welfare.
Additional standards that will ensure sows may only be confined in gestation stalls for the first six weeks of any pregnancy will apply from 2017.
•For more information about the requirements for keeping pigs in Queensland, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.
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