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Table 1 Important items in the legislation (Directive 2008/120/EC) in relation to the welfare of pregnant sows

From: Impact of group housing of pregnant sows on health

Parameter Requirement
Minimum unobstructed floor space Gilt after service >1.64 m2
Sows and gilts in group >2.25 m2
<6 animals: +10 %
>40 animals: −10 %
Continuous solid floor for pregnant gilts and sows >0.95 m2 per gilt; >1.3 m2 per sow
Drainage opening Max. 15 %
Slats for pregnant gilts and sows Gap width: max. 20 mm
Slat width: min. 80 mm
Group housing Mandatory from 4 weeks after service to one week before expected farrowing
Manipulable material Permanent access for sows and gilts
Food Sufficient bulky or high-fibre food as well as high-energy food for each individual
Feeding At least once per day
Drinking water Permanent access to fresh water
Diseased/injured pigs in group housing May be housed individually in sick bay; should be able to turn around
Continuous noise levels <85 dB
Amount of light >40 lux for min. 8 h/day
Lying area Comfortable, all animals should be able to use it simultaneously