The landmark move also known as “quality of life” creates more spacious and social housing for more than 250,000 female pigs and will ensure that animals are healthier, less stressed and express their natural behavior. It will also provide more robust piglets, less need for antibiotics and healthier meat products for consumers.
The global trend is to phase out mother pig crates, as they restrict space, movement and behaviour. They are no longer acceptable in European Union, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and increasingly in the US and elsewhere. Betagro, the leading livestock business in Thailand, began the journey in 2013 to improve the living conditions of animals across production. In addition, Betagro have collaborated with World Animal Protection since 2014 with the objectives to develop animal welfare policies, assess the animal welfare risks, and continuous improvement of animal welfare practices. After the 3 years of intensive work, Betagro decided to phase out two types of crates, so that female pigs could turn around and move more freely during pregnancy, and then move and mother their young. This is an unprecedented commitment in Asia Pacific.
Chief Executive Officer for Betagro Group, Mr. Vanus Taepaisitphongse said:
Over the last 50 years, Betagro has enjoyed increased confidence amongst consumers and become the “uncompromising” quality leader in the food market.
“We believe animals in the farm should have a good quality of life. Female adult pigs should be able to turn around, move more freely and have less stress. They should also be able to behave in a more natural way in a group housing environment and then mother their piglets free from stress, compromised immunity and poor health.
“Healthy pigs leads to less use of antibiotics and
enhances product quality and safety which is a benefit to consumers’ health.”
Betagro has developed the Betagro Quality Management (BQM) which improve the lives of animals through company codes including animal welfare monitoring throughout pig and poultry supply chains. Staff awareness and competencies are very crucial for success. Our staff have also previously trained with Bristol University on farm animal welfare, transportation and slaughter and have implemented beyond the OIE and some European Union animal welfare standards.
Mrs. Suphaporn Last, Country Director of World Animal Protection Thailand said:
“We welcome this announcement by Betagro who understand the importance of a good quality of life for pigs contributes to good pork quality. Consumers can look to companies who commit to producing pigs with care, not crates, for better meat quality and health.
"We have seen a significant improvement in Betagro’s approach to pigs, which they now commit to scale up both enriched group housing and birthing pens across the business.
“This sets a new standard for pig farming and pork retailing in Thailand. We now want to see other Thai companies following this example. Good quality pork includes good welfare, which is good for people, businesses and pigs.”