According to the delegates, only 25% of herds in Ireland comply currently and they hold 35% of the national sow inventory. France has similar rates of 30% of herds and 27% of sows. At the other extreme, 59% of herds in the Netherlands holding 56% of Dutch sows already have the group gestation systems that will be required across the EU.
About 60% of sows in Belgium and 50% in Germany are in loose housing. The figure for Denmark’s sows is as high as 70%, but for Spain it is only 20%. There continue to be warnings of an impending reduction in EU pig numbers because the owners of non-complying facilities will not be able to afford the investment needed to change to housing sows in groups.