Ban on the use of sow stalls
From 2033 onwards, there will be a complete ban on sow stalls in Austria. The ban includes the use of farrowing crates with the exception of a short period of time after the sow has given birth to her piglets. In 2013, the time permitted for breeding sows to be confined in sow stalls during insemination and pregnancy was reduced to ten days. Exempt from this are farms that have to rebuild for this purpose. A general exception to all the above regulations applies to farms with ten or fewer breeding sows. While the length of the transition period is hugely disappointing, the VGT acknowledges that this new regulation is a significant step forward in the right direction.
VGT has asked the Austrian Ombudsman Board to request that the new regulation be reviewed by means of a constitutional complaint. At the very least, the long transitional period and the exemption for pig farms with 10 or fewer sows clearly contradict the general requirements for the keeping of animals prescribed in the Animal Welfare Act.