I was recently given a copy of the APIQ ( Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Program) Standards manual and reading through all the jargon I found the standards for pork producers who claim their products are "bred free range" Clearly to any joe bloe you would think it is the same/another wording for the free range we would all love to think occurs at every farm, however as I suspected it isn't.
The standards for free range are
A. Weaners and growers and the sows from which they were bred have access to paddocks at all times for their entire life.
Where pigs are confined temporarily for vaccinations, mating or under veterinary advice, systems are in place which support the need for confinement.
B. Shelter is available to provide protection from the elements at all times.
Steps are taken to minimise the risks to pigs from predators.
All pigs are able to move freely in and out of shelter provided.
Bedding is provided in the shelters.
C. Suitable paddocks with rooting and/or foraging areas are available to pigs at all times.
Wallows are provided where state regulations and the season permits.
D. Shelter provided for weaners and growers meets the space allowance standards of the Model Code, 3rd
edition, 2007, Appendix 3, Table 5.
E. S helter for dry sows in groups, lactating sows with piglets and boars meet the space allowance in the
Model Code, 3rd edition, 2007, Appendix 3, Table 8.
The standards for bred free range however are
Sows and piglets are managed as per Free Range
Standards until weaning (see 1.2 B – E)
A. The piglets up until weaning and the sows from which they are bred have access to paddocks at all
Where pigs are confined temporarily for vaccinations, mating or under veterinary advice systems are
in place which support the need for confinement.
B. At weaning piglets are transferred to deep litter housing, intensive indoor housing, or feedlot outdoor pens for growing and/or finishing.
As I suspected bred free range is a term used for pigs who are born and raised til weaning in a free range environment, then transferred into factory farms. So where woolworths responds to your emails and letters enquiring the support of factory farms, and they proudly state that "We also provide Otway Bred Free Range Pork available at selected stores in Victoria, Coles Finest Bred Free Range Pork Sausages" http://www.unleashed.org.au/community/forum/topic.php?t=1934
You can now know what the term means.