"Bred free range", "bred free" or "outdoor
Often confused with free range,
these are marketing terms referring to
pigs that are born outside, but after
weaning at around four weeks are
raised indoors with no outside access.
Sow stalls / crates / gestation stalls
Designed to prevent aggression
between sows, these metal enclosures
of a minimum size of 0.6m x 2.2m are
used to confine sows when pregnant.
The sow can lie down but can’t turn
around. Sows can be kept in stalls for
all or part of their 16-week pregnancy,
but by 2017 this will be reduced to a
maximum of six weeks. However, the
pork industry is talking about phasing
out sow stalls completely by 2017.
These cages are
designed to force the sow to lie down
slowly so the piglets aren’t crushed.
At a minimum size of 0.5 x 2m, the sow
can stand but is unable to turn around.
Sows are confined from about a week
before giving birth until the piglets are
weaned at about four weeks.
Ractopamine (brand name Paylean)
A substance used to build lean muscle
that is banned in the EU, China and
Russia. Coles recently banned its
fresh pork suppliers from using
ractopamine and will also extend the
ban to all home-brand deli products
The peak industry body
Australian Pork says there’s no
evidence ractopamine is dangerous
to people, and that there is a rigorous
system to ensure all pigs that
enter the food chain are safe
for human consumption.
Fresh vs. processed
It’s illegal to
import fresh pork meat
and pork with a bone
into Australia due to
the risk of disease,
so all fresh pork
and ham on the bone
is produced locally.
About 60-70% of all bacon
and ham consumed in Australia
is imported frozen (mainly from
the Netherlands and Denmark) and processed into bacon, soccer
ball, shaved or leg ham, or used in
processed foods. As a result you’ll
often see “Made in Australia from
imported and local ingredients” on
To buy completely
Australian-grown meat, look for
“Product of Australia” or “100%