In our effort to continue the pursuit of animal welfare, we decided to enlist Kevin Kurbis about the 5 Freedoms, which has been used as a guideline for many producers around the world.
In recent discussions, we have been fairly nostalgic. Spending time thinking about where we came from can be helpful in figuring out where we are going. Also, as we have many relationships and conversations with our European neighbors, we are reminded that at least here in the US, we are behind in some of the latest in terms of animal well-being. This is not to say everyone is behind, but as a whole, compared with Scandinavia and Europe we have areas we can still improve and grow in to.
We recently were able to talk with our good friend Mikael Kirk of AgriSys based in Denmark. Mikael founded ArgiSys in 2009 and has experience with transitioning many barns to ESF as well as new projects all over the world.
When I was asked to write an article reflecting on recent advancements in the pork production industry, I was first forced to evaluate where we were ten years ago. That was a reasonably straightforward exercise for me, as my son is currently ten years old—but where were we as an industry? Here are a few things that came to mind. They help explain the advancements in both the pork industry and our daily lives.
Group housing is group housing, right?
Loose sow housing is loose sow housing, right?
We've seen it so many times. Other companies are promoting their equipment that only work with their own version of "loose" sow housing. The only problem is that a majority of current design offerings keep sows in stalls for just under half of their gestation.
But it’s not just our opinions on which options are best for sows, the facts speak for themselves.