APIQ_® Gestation Stall Free

APIQ_® Gestation Stall Free

The Australian Pork Limited (APL) “Gestation Stall Free” definition as voted by APL Delegates in November 2010, is:

“Sows and gilts are kept in loose housing from at least five days after service until one (1) week before farrowing, where service refers to the last mating. In loose (group) housing, sows and gilts – either singularly or in groups – have freedom of movement i.e. they can turn around and extend their limbs. The housing of one or more animals must meet the Model Code for the Welfare of Pigs  space allowance requirements. Where a pen is used to confine a pig individually during gestation (up to one (1) week prior to farrowing), it must meet the definition of loose housing, i.e. the animal must be able to have freedom of movement, to turn around and extend its limbs.”

Exceptions include:

  • Hospital/Special Care Stalls used to individually house pigs temporarily to allow sufficient time to provide special care for sickness, injury, medications and other health treatments under veterinary advice, or under special care by a competent stockperson.
  • Feeding stalls used to confine an individual pig for feeding and/or animal husbandry reasons, such as vaccination, pregnancy confirmation etc for a time of up to 3 hours in any one (1) day.

Systems in which individual sows are confined individually during gestation, but which meet the definition of loose housing, include:

  • Free access pens, which contain individual feeding accommodation, but which allow the individual pig to go in and out at will.
  • Electronic sow feeding systems, which contain individual feeding accommodation, but which allow the individual pig to go in and out at will.

Complying with the APL Gestation Stall Free Definition and APIQ_® Standard and Performance Indicators for Gestation Stall Free allows producers to demonstrate that they have followed through on this commitment.

The approved Gestation Stall Free Standards and Performance Indicators are listed in Option A: Gestation Stall Free of the APIQ_® Standards Manual.

More information on APIQ_® Gestation stall free verification is available within the APIQ_® Manuals and Guides.

Acquiring GSF Verification

The APIQ_® Gestation Stall Free (GSF) Standards outlined in the APIQ_® Standards Manual, are proving to be a valuable addition to the APIQ_® program. GSF is not compulsory, but if you meet the GSF Standards your compliance can be verified at any time by an APIQ Registered Auditor.

To be verified GSF you need to revise your Piggery Management Manual, SOPs, Work Instructions, maps and plans to reflect the changes to your on-farm systems to meet the GSF requirements and then:

  • Ensure that your auditor audits against the APIQ_® GSF Standards in your next APIQ_® Compliance Audit; OR
  • If you need verification earlier than your next Compliance Audit, you can arrange to a have a registered APIQ_® Auditor visit the piggery at any time to complete an audit specifically against the GSF Standards and Performance Indicators.
  • The reports are sent to APIQM and when compliance is verified in writing, APIQM will revise update your APIQ­_ records to show that you meet the GSF requirements and you’ll be able to download your updated APIQ_® certificate via the PigPass Web Portal.

Note: Free Range and Outdoor Bred, Raised Indoors on Straw piggeries automatically qualify for Gestation Stall Free Verification.