Browse the pig producer case studies and technical reports below, which share best practice in Animal Welfare. The producers are EU PiG Ambassadors and winners of the annual EU PiG Grand Prix, who have focused on one of the specific Animal Welfare challenges chosen by the industry each year.
A network of experts forming the EU PiG Animal Welfare Thematic Group consolidates existing industry knowledge and validates the best practice identified through the EU PiG Grand Prix.
This theme is about the care and treatment of livestock through increased understanding of the welfare requirements of the pig.
The increase in pigs born per sow (Hyperprolific sows) has caused various production issues relating to ensuring that the piglets have the best chance of survival and in turn being a profitable animal.
Ambassador: Corentin Nevannen, Eureden Cooperative, France
Publication date: July 2020 | Theme: Animal welfare
Pigs have an optimum temperature at which they thrive. Temperatures across Europe in the summer (even Ireland and the UK) can exceed that level, causing stress on pigs and lowering productivity.
When piglets are mixed with other litters during lactation, it facilitates adaptation at weaning, reduces scratches and improves growth rates in the nursery accommodation, this French producer has found.
Faeces and urine are separated, and regularly removed, from the finisher pig housing to reduce the production of ammonia on a Belgian unit run by Akivar. The sloped floor underneath the slatted flooring directs urine so it is collected in a urine gutter, while the faeces are scraped with a newly developed scraper towards a collection pit.
Piglet losses during lactation have been reduced from 25% to 15% on this breeding unit, equipped with a Pro Dromi loose farrowing system.
Feed conversion ratio has improved and pigs have become easier to handle, since this finisher unit owner began changing the type of environmental enrichment in each pen every day to promote the sense of novelty for the pigs.
Spanish farmer Ramon Armengol has a 720-sow, farrow-to-finish ‘closed unit’ producing entire males. Aware of the risks of boar taint and possible welfare issues associated with this, he has introduced several different systems to address them – the results including lower production costs per kilo.
Tail docking has been banned in Finland since 2003, so the Sikana Oy farm rears its 2,980 finisher pigs with intact tails and uses a number of practical measures to ensure they comply with legislation and maintain both welfare and productivity.