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Feedstuffs magazine reports:

The American Veterinary Medical Assn.'s (AVMA) House of Delegates, at its annual convention, passed an amendment to its policy on pregnant sow housing.

Although it does not entirely oppose the use of gestation stalls, the approved resolution makes language changes to address the quantity of space provided and advises against conditions that could generate stress or fear in the animals.

For the past two years, a discussion on sow housing within the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee prompted the decision to revise the organization's policy based on comments and decision by pork processors, distributors and retailers, as well as actions taken by state and international governments and agencies.

During its fall 2013 meeting, the committee formed a "perspective-balanced topical subcommittee" - made up of representatives from the Animal Welfare Committee and led by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians -to review the current policy.

The revised language approved by the delegates included inserting the words "distress and fear" into the current statement on the reduce exposure hazard policy in the guidelines for sow housing and management systems.

In the same section, a clarification on the quantity of space was also approved that now reads: "Sow housing and management systems should provide sows with adequate quality and quantity of space that allows sows to assume normal postures and to express normal patterns of behavior."

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