Showing posts from March 14, 2012

Farmer says Sow-Stall Phaseout not as Costly as Claimed

Dear Editor,                      The sad reality for hundreds of thousands of sows is that the cost of getting rid of gestation crates (sow stalls) is being used as an excuse to prolong the cruel practice.   Market conditions for raising pigs in a factory setting are changing as Laura Rance pointed out in her February 23, 2012 editorial “The economics of animal welfare.”  People are increasingly less prepared to tolerate the inhumane way pregnant gilts and sows are confined in 2 foot by 7 foot crates on concrete slatted floors most of their lives.   The Manitoba Pork Council says producers are willing to adjust to changing market conditions.  But not until 2025, claiming that it will cost $1 million per existing operation to convert from sow stalls to group housing.    Manitoba Agriculture and Food web-posted 2010 cost of production figures for a 500 sow farrow to finish operation show that a new gestation building costs $23.10 per square foot. Total building cost