New video examines myths about individual sow housing systems

Animal welfare is determined by several factors not just housing system

Housing systems for pregnant sows have become an issue of controversy and confusion, but a new Meat MythCrusher video takes viewers on a tour of a sow housing operation to explain the complex humane handling considerations that go into housing systems for pregnant sows.

The video features Stacy Scramlin, Ph.D., assistant professor of animal science at South Dakota State University and Janet Riley, American Meat Institute (AMI) senior vice president of public affairs and liaison to the Animal Welfare Committee, touring a modern, biosecure hog facility where visitors must shower when entering and existing to ensure the health of the pigs.

“Housing for pregnant sows is a complex issue that can be complicated by emotion and misinformation. We felt it was important to address some of the myths and facts from inside a facility where pregnant sows are housed,” said Riley.

Dr. 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.

She notes that 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 well being of the animal,” Scramlin says.

The Meat MythCrusher video series is produced by AMI in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association (AMSA), and seeks to bust some of the most common myths surrounding meat and poultry production and processing.

The series is now in its fifth year and includes 39 videos which have been viewed more than 80,000 times. Other video topics include myths surrounding antibiotic use in livestock, “Superbugs” in meat, Meatless Monday, hormone use in animals, ammonia in ground beef, grass-fed beef and more.

All of the videos and more are available at http://www.meatmythcrushers.com/.

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