Animal Welfare


Rivalea commits to "Care for every pig, every day".

We are committed to the respectful and humane treatment of all the animals in our care throughout their life.

Our people are the single biggest contributors to the delivery of quality animal welfare. The Model Code of Practice for Welfare of Animals – Pigs 2007 (Primary Industries Ministerial Council), states: "The basic requirement for the welfare of pigs is a husbandry system that is managed by trained and skilled stock-people."

Our focus on animal welfare means that we demand of ourselves strong internal standards of training, awareness and application of animal welfare priorities. Our Animal Welfare practices are based on the Model Code of Practice, sound scientific research, quality staff training and the extensive experience of our people.

Our livestock management is regularly audited through the Australian Pork Industry Quality (APIQ) program.

The following sections are a summary of Rivalea's firm commitment to Animal Welfare. 

Download a PDF file of the Rivalea Welfare Policy - Download PDF »

Farmer at Piggery


Training & skills

Staff Competency

The commitment of our people is fundamental to the success of our systems. All Rivalea stock people are qualified at Certificate III level, usually within their first two years of full time employment. There are specific units of competency relating to animal health and welfare embedded within the Certificate III (Pork Production) qualification.

Many of our Supervisory staff hold tertiary qualifications and undertake leadership and other vocational courses. A clear focus of our on-the-job training is on positive animal handling methods.

Staff training in Animal Welfare is complemented by ongoing instruction and guidance by Rivalea’s specialist pig Veterinarians and our Animal Welfare Scientist. 

Training Documents

Caring for every animal

Our staff monitor all of our pigs health and wellbeing daily.

  • We provide for animal needs by ensuring each pig has:
  • Protection from and treatment of disease and injury.
  • Readily accessible, appropriate and sufficient food and water.
  • Adequate shelter and protection.
  • Visual and social contact with other pigs.
  • Opportunity to display appropriate patterns of behaviour.
  • Freedom for necessary movement.
  • Humane handling.

Animals identified as requiring extra care are treated according to Veterinary guidelines and are placed in specialised animal recovery programs.

Rivalea only utilise husbandry procedures that are critical to the welfare of the pig. Husbandry tasks are performed by competent stock people for the purpose of ensuring optimum welfare outcomes. 

Caring for pigs

Housing systems

In 2007, Rivalea committed to removing all pregnant sow stalls. Our pregnant sows are housed in social groups and have been since 2012. This ensures that sows are able to move more freely and are able to perform natural social behaviours. We have incorporated new sow housing systems which include Electronic Sow Feeding systems (ESF) and other pen group housing systems.

More than half of our pigs are reared in straw-bedded barns. 


Housing pigs

Research & innovation

  • Rivalea operates the largest private Research and Innovation group in the Australian pig industry and employ an extensive range of welfare experts including veterinarians, nutritionists, pig scientists and animal welfare scientists.
  • Our Animal Welfare Program Manager oversees research and commercial implementation of our animal welfare strategies.
  • We continually invest resources and people in researching, developing and implementing improved welfare practices.
  • We are amongst the largest private investors in Australia in research directed towards enhanced animal welfare systems.
  • We led the Australian Pork industry in the voluntary removal of pregnant sow stalls.
  • We are investing significant resources to identifying and developing alternatives to traditional farrowing housing.
  • We initiated the concept of bedded barn housing for progeny and continue to develop improvements.
  • We have established two outdoor, rotational, free range farms. We are developing our management practices to optimise pig welfare in these systems.
  • We continually undertake long-term collaborative research projects with Australian Pork Limited, the Pork CRC, the Animal Welfare Science Centre and a number of international welfare research institutions.

Woman tending to pigs

Humane Processing

Rivalea is accredited under the Australian Livestock Processing Industry Animal Welfare Certification System (AAWCS). The AAWCS covers all animal welfare activities from receival of pigs to the point of humane processing. Our staff are trained in, and have certified skills in animal handling and welfare. We are participating in an external technical working group that is focused on humane stunning of pigs. This groups includes representation from the Australian pork industry, animal welfare groups, animal welfare scientists and other pork processors.

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