Monday, November 3, 2014

A video on sow housing launched

After dozens of the largest pork retailers have succumbed to pressure from the Humane Society of the United States to agree to bans on housing sows in gestation crates, the American Meat Institute has come out with a video to educate the public.

I guess it's better late than never.

This latest installation of the MythCrusher video series “seeks to clarify controversy and confusion over modern sow housing by taking viewers on a tour of a sow housing operation and explaining the humane handling considerations that go into housing systems for pregnant sows,” says Meatingplace Magazine.

The video features Stacy Scramlin, assistant professor of animal science at South Dakota State University, and Janet Riley, AMI senior vice president of public affairs and liaison to the animal welfare committee, touring a modern, biosecure hog facility where visitors must shower in and out.

“Housing for pregnant sows is a complex issue that can be complicated by emotion and misinformation,” said Riley.

On the video, Scramlin discusses several issues that must be considered when selecting the best sow housing for a particular farm, including management of feed and water as well and protection of sows from one another.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, welfare is determined by several factors, not just the housing system.

“Regardless of the system, as long as it is managed properly, that is the most important thing for the wellbeing of the animal,” said Scramlin.

The Meat MythCrusher video series is produced by AMI in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association.
The series, now in its fifth year, includes 39 videos. Topics include antibiotic use, “superbugs” in meat, Meatless Monday, hormone use, ammonia in ground beef and grass-fed beef.