Dr Rebecca Morrison

Rebecca has a PhD from the University of Melbourne in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and is the Animal Welfare Programs Manager for Rivalea Australia. Rivalea Australia is a large commercial piggery with a dedicated Research and Innovation team committed to conducting research in the area of pig welfare. Rivalea collaborate closely with the Animal Welfare Science Centre and a number of international research institutes in the area of welfare. Rebecca is responsible for research, development and implementing animal welfare programs. Prior to this, Rebecca was the Sustainable Swine Production Systems Scientist at the University of Minnesota, USA. Rebecca’s research has focused on deep-litter group housing for growing pigs, gestation sow housing systems, loose farrowing systems, enrichment, assessment of pain, pain relief for husbandry procedures and on-farm welfare assessment.

Topic: Welfare advances in the Australian pig industry

The Australian Pork industry consists of approximately 1,400 producers with a total breeding herd size of 264,000 sows, producing 4.93 million pigs per year. Australian pork producers abide by the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals-Pigs and 92% of farms are covered by the Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Program (APIQ ®) which ensures that pork producers meet legal requirements, industry standards and customer specifications in the areas of animal welfare, food safety, biosecurity and traceability.

The Australian Pork Industry has made significant advances in improving animal welfare over the past 10 years. Perhaps the most significant change has been the world-leading decision to voluntary phase out the use of gestation stalls by 2017. This presentation will discuss the changes that have been made in gestation sow housing and management to ensure that sow welfare is not compromised. Other welfare advances include the development of the ProHand® stockperson training program that specifically targets improving attitudes and behaviour of stockpeople.

The Australian Pork Industry industry is committed to continuous improvement in animal welfare and continues to support research and development in the area of animal welfare. Australian Pork Limited (APL), the Pork CRC for High Integrity Pork, Australian Universities and commercial piggeries are major investors in welfare-related research.  This presentation will discuss current Australian research and development in the areas of welfare assessment, weaned sow housing, farrowing and lactation housing, environmental enrichment, husbandry procedures and humane stunning.