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The Australian Pork Limited (APL) “Gestation Stall Free” (GSF) 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 GSF Definition and APIQtick13x14® Standard and Performance Indicators for GSF allows producers to demonstrate that they have followed through on this commitment.

The approved GSF Standards and Performance Indicators are listed in Option A: Gestation Stall Free (GSF) of the APIQtick13x14®  Standards Manual.

The Australan pork industry is moving voluntarily and swiftly to a gestation stall free production system whereby the sows are not individually confined for at least 90 per cent of their pregnancies as outlined in the APL GSF definition.