Maple Leaf Foods delivers on its commitment to animal care
Previously, pregnant sows were confined to gestation cages during their 78-day gestation period, to ensure their safety. However, concerns have been expressed about the impact on well-being and natural behavior. A 2013 poll conducted by Humane Society International â Canada found that 84 percent of Canadians supported eliminating crates.
Canada’s hog industry made a commitment in 2014 to end the use of gestational cages by 2024, but set a more ambitious timeline to convert all Maple Leaf Agri-Farms sow barns to the new one. advanced open sow housing system by the end of 2021. These barns produce about 40 percent of the pigs the company uses each year to produce its branded pork products.
The company’s animal care team has studied housing and feeding systems around the world and combined best practices to develop Advanced Open Sow housing. The system differs from other open sow housing systems by not only opening or removing gestation cages, but also creating housing zones with various spaces that allow sows to choose when to play, socialize, eat and rest.
The system offers additional comforts, such as electronic sow feeders, cool water misters during the hot summer months, bright LED lighting, windows for natural light and night lights for sows that choose to stay. feed at night.
Maple Leaf CEO Michael McCain notes that ensuring animals live in the best possible environment is the right thing to do and a critical part of sustainability.
âOur progress in eliminating gestational cages in our sow barns across Canada is an important step as we proudly lead the industry towards a more compassionate approach to animal welfare. “
The unique system also helps Maple Leaf Foods team members monitor animal health more accurately.