American Veterinary Medical Association revises pregnant sow housing policy
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) amended its policy on pregnant sow housing during its annual convention in Denver.
The revisions state that housing and management systems should accommodate the physical and mental needs of sows by reducing exposure to hazards or conditions that result in injuries, pain, distress, fear or disease and provide sows with adequate quality and quantity of space to assume normal postures and express normal patterns of behavior.
The association’s House of Delegates reviewed the resolution, which referenced a literature review describing the benefits and challenges of each system.
“The AVMA recognizes that being able to assume normal postures and express normal patterns of behavior are important for sows, as are being able to access food and water, without undue competition and aggression,” the AVMA states in a release. “While stalls restrict normal behavioral expression, group housing—the next most common approach to sow housing—can present challenges related to competition and aggression.”
The AVMA says its new policy stresses that the benefits and risks to the animals should be considered by weighing scientific evidence and veterinary professional judgment when determining the appropriate management system required to meet the welfare needs of gestating sows. The revised policy can be found at avma.org.