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ANIMAL WELFARE ASPECTS OF


GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICE
PIG PRODUCTION
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ANIMAL WELFARE ASPECTS OF GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICE (GAP)
pig production
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GAP Pigs DVD-ROM
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GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES:
produce safe, healthy, high-quality food for consumers

provide jobs with fair incomes for rural communities

are socially and environmentally sustainable

provide high standards of animal welfare
This presentation will concentrate on animal
welfare aspects
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ANIMAL WELFARE ASPECTS OF GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICE
PIG PRODUCTION
Contents:
Chapter 1 Natural behaviour and production systems - 4
Chapter 2 Space and foraging needs for dry sows - 19
Chapter 3 Avoiding aggression in dry sows - 35
Chapter 4 Space and nesting needs of farrowing sows - 50
Chapter 5 Avoiding teeth clipping in piglets - 70
Chapter 6 Avoiding castration in male piglets - 82
Chapter 7 Avoiding early weaning - 94
Chapter 8 Avoiding tail docking and tail biting - 106
Chapter 9 Good stockmanship - 122
Chapter 10 Summary - 144
To return to the contents list at any time,
type 3 and press ENTER
To jump to any slide in this presentation,
type the number of the slide and press ENTER
5
Worldwide, 1.1 billion pigs are raised for meat each year
CHAPTER 1
natural behaviour & production systems
6
Pigs are descended from the wild boar
ANCESTRY
Dale Arey/CIWF
7
ANCESTRY
Some breeds have been developed for hot
climates like these small black Iberian pigs
Some breeds have been developed for
cold climates like these hairy Mangalicas
8
ANCESTRY
Some traditional breeds still closely
resemble their wild boar ancestors like
these Tamworth crosses
Most pigs used in production are based
on these Large White x Landrace crosses
Pigs of all breeds have inherited most of
the behaviours of the wild boar
9
SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
Pigs naturally live in social groups of 2-4 sows, often sisters or
otherwise related, along with their offspring
10
MATERNAL CYCLE
Nest away
from group
Return with
piglets
to group
Suckle young
Gradually
wean
Dale Arey/CIWF
Marek Spinka
Fiona Chambers of Fernleigh Free-Range
11
ADAPTATION TO ENVIRONMENT
Pigs have evolved to live in a complex environment
12
browsing
grazing
rooting
Marek Spinka
Marek Spinka
FEEDING BEHAVIOUR
Pigs have evolved a range of
foraging strategies to live in that
environment
13
DIURNAL BEHAVIOUR
The day is divided between periods of
foraging (for up to
nine hours a day)
and resting
14
MAEP/CIWF
THERMOREGULATORY BEHAVIOUR
Huddling for
warmth
Wallowing for skin care
and cooling
Pigs mainly control their temperature through behaviour
Shade
Film of wallowing behaviour follows

15
PLAY BEHAVIOUR
Young pigs also use their environment for recreation
16
INTENSIVE PRODUCTION
some intensive systems fail to
satisfy behavioural needs of pigs
Dry sows
Farrowing sows
Weaners
Growing pigs
Could these systems be
modified to meet behavioural
needs?
17
MODERN PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
methods of providing behavioural needs of pigs
Foraging
Secluded nesting
Comfortable rest
Separation of
dunging and lying
areas
18
EXTENSIVE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
methods of providing behavioural needs of pigs
Shelter
Protection
from predators
Temperature
control
Posts for
rubbing
Film of post-rubbing behaviour follows

19
NATURAL BEHAVIOUR AND PRODUCTION
summary

1. Pigs are descended from wild boar and have inherited most of their
behavioural patterns

2. Pigs live in social groups consisting of mothers and their young

3. Pigs are adapted to complex environments that contain woodland and water

4. Pig behaviour has developed to utilise the environment for food, water,
shelter, resting, temperature control, skincare, dunging and recreation

5. Intensive environments do not provide for these complex behaviours and give
rise to many welfare problems

6. Modern systems can be designed to meet the behavioural needs of pigs
20
CHAPTER 2
space and foraging needs for dry sows
Diane Halverson /
Animal Welfare Institute
21
PREGNANT (DRY) SOWS
sow stall (gestation crate) a confinement system
Why are most sows
kept in stalls?
To reduce space and
thereby costs
To prevent aggression
To simplify management
and observation

22
PREGNANT (DRY) SOWS
tether stall another confinement system
Film of bar-biting behaviour by tethered sow follows

23
SOWS IN STALLS
health issues
Health problem
Weak bones
Leg problems
Urinary disorders
Possible explanation
Lack of exercise
Lack of exercise
Unable to excrete away
from lying area
Possible explanations for
health problems suffered by
sows in stalls
24
Sows cannot:
exercise
forage
socialise properly
dung away from their lying area
regulate their body temperature through behaviour
SOWS IN STALLS
Welfare issues
What important behaviours are
sows in stalls unable to carry
out?
25
SOWS IN STALLS
welfare issues
What abnormal behaviours are observed as a result of this close
confinement and hunger?
In addition, dry sows are fed
once a day on a
maintenance ration which
leaves them feeling hungry
See next slide
26
STEREOTYPIES
bar-biting
This sow may be
hungry, but is
unable to forage.

This may be a
displaced feeding
behaviour.

Unlike normal
feeding, this is
very repetitive and
cannot fill her
stomach.
Film of bar-biting behaviour follows

27
What are the key features of
stereotypic behaviour?
What kind of stereotypy is this?
What other kinds are there?
What causes stereotypies?
Bar-biting
Sham chewing, excess drinking etc
Frustration of natural behaviours
Repetitive and apparently devoid
of function
STEREOTYPIES
28
STEREOTYPIES
sham-chewing
Sham-chewing is also thought to
be caused by frustration, boredom
and hunger
Film of sham-chewing behaviour follows

29
STEREOTYPIES
excessive drinking
How could you find out
whether this drinking
was excessive?
Compare water intake
of this sow with one that
was completely satiated
and not frustrated
This is another form of stereotypy
Film of excessive drinking behaviour follows

30
STEREOTYPIES IN BARREN PENS
bar-biting sham-chewing tongue rolling
Stereotypies can also occur in pens where there is no bedding to occupy
the sows and provide gut fill
Film of these three behaviours follows

31
APATHY
Another response to confinement and frustration
This sow might be resting.
How would one distinguish
apathetic behaviour from
natural resting behaviour?
Test how responsive she is
to different stimuli like cold
water or novel food
Film of possibly apathetic behaviour follows

32
GOOD PRACTICE
providing resources for natural behaviour
Providing sufficient space
Keeping sows in natural social groups
Providing an enriched environment with foraging material
Outdoor systems Indoor systems
How can stereotypic and apathetic behaviours be reduced?
33
The same is true for
boars which in many
countries are not
provided with bedding
GOOD PRACTICE
providing resources for natural behaviour
34
(7) To satisfy their hunger and given the need to chew, all dry pregnant
sows must be given a sufficient quantity of bulky or high-fibre food as well
as high-energy food.
Council Directive 2001/88/EC 23
rd
October 2001
EU REGULATIONS
requirement for high
fibre food
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The tether stall is banned in:
European Union
The sow stall is banned in:
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom
Florida
Sow stall use is restricted in:
Philippines
Sow stall is due to be banned in:
European Union (2013, except for first four weeks of pregnancy)
New Zealand (2015, except for first four weeks of pregnancy)
Australia (2017, except for first six weeks of pregnancy)
LEGISLATION TO RESTRICT THE SOW STALL
current and future bans


36
SPACE AND FORAGING NEEDS FOR DRY SOWS
summary
1. Most sows spend their entire pregnancies in confinement
systems such as the sow stall
2. These severely restrict natural behaviour and cause a range of
health and welfare problems
3. Restrictions on natural behaviour can lead to apathy and
stereotypies such as bar-biting, sham-chewing, tongue rolling
and excessive drinking
4. A key problem is hunger due to restricted diets EU regulations
require dry sows to be provided with high-fibre food to satisfy this
hunger and the need to chew
5. Stereotypies can be avoided by satisfying the need of sows for
space, company and foraging material
37
CHAPTER 3
avoiding aggression in dry sows
Dale Arey / CIWF
38
Competition for food and other resources

Mixing sows that are unfamiliar with each other

Marek Spinka
AGGRESSION BETWEEN DRY SOWS
What are the main causes of aggression in dry sows?
39
AGGRESSION DURING FEEDING
sow pens
Why is aggression at
feeding a particular
problem with dry sows?
food restricted to a
maintenance diet so
sows remain hungry
only fed once a day
diet is low in fibre
food not widely
spread out
Film of aggression over food follows

40
AGGRESSION DURING FEEDING
free-range sows feeding with less aggression
Film of mild dominance behaviour follows

Why is aggression over food milder
in the following film?
41
AGGRESSION DURING FEEDING
free-range sows feeding with less aggression
Why was aggression milder here?
lower motivation for less
concentrated feed
sows in stable groups have clear
dominance order
access to high fibre food reduces
hunger
spacious environment reduces
stress
42
AVOIDING AGGRESSION - INDIVIDUAL FEEDING SYSTEMS
electronic sow feeders
photos and video ASAB
Each sow wears a transponder. In the feeding stall, a
computer provides each sow with an individual ration
Film of use of electronic sow feeder follows

43
AVOIDING AGGRESSION - INDIVIDUAL FEEDING SYSTEMS
electronic sow feeders
photos and video ASAB
Advantages
Sows free from
harassment in stall

Individual sows can be
given extra food if
needed
Can be run
automatically
Disadvantages
Sows cannot feed
simultaneously as they
would normally
Aggression can occur
outside the stall

Sows not occupied
searching for main food
supply
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this system?
44
Feeding Release
AVOIDING AGGRESSION - INDIVIDUAL FEEDING SYSTEMS
feeding stalls
In this system, the sows have access to a straw area and are
locked in the stalls just at feeding time
Film of use of feeding stalls and subsequent release follows

45
AVOIDING AGGRESSION - INDIVIDUAL FEEDING SYSTEMS
feeding stalls
Advantages
Sows free from
harassment in stalls

Individual sows can be
given extra food if
needed
Sows can be fed
simultaneously
Disadvantages
Expensive to set up
Sows dont have to
search for their food

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this system?
46
Top view
Front view
Food is delivered slowly over longer periods. Sows that bully others out
of their place lose out because food builds up in their own feed space
AVOIDING AGGRESSION - DISPERSED FEEDING
trickle feed systems
47
AVOIDING AGGRESSION - DISPERSED FEEDING
trickle feed systems
Disadvantages
Aggression might
still be a problem
Individual sows
cannot be given
extra food
Sows dont have to
search for their food
Advantages
Sows feed
simultaneously
Aggression
minimal since
sows occupied in
own stations
Feeding process
can occupy sows
for longer
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this system?
48
AVOIDING AGGRESSION - DISPERSED FEEDING
scatter-feeding systems
What are the advantages
and disadvantages of this
system?
Dale Arey/CIWF
Advantages
Sows feed
simultaneously
Aggression minimal
since food
dispersed
Feeding process
naturally occupies
sows for a long time
Extra fibre
consumed at same
time
Disadvantages
Aggression might still
be a problem
Individual sows
cannot be given extra
food
Film of scatter feeding follows

49
Colin Seddon / CIWF
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this system?
Food is automatically
dumped from the
feeders at the top of the
picture
AVOIDING AGGRESSION - DISPERSED FEEDING
dump-feeding systems
Similar to previous system, though food less well dispersed
50
AGGRESSION AT MIXING
Another major cause of aggression is mixing sows that are unfamiliar
with each other
51
CASE STUDY - STRESS AT MIXING
College farm experiences infertililty problems
Colin Seddon / CIWF
System worked well for Meishan
cross sows mixed in large
enriched pen%. However the meat
was too high in fat content for the
UK market so they switched to
Large White x Landrace crosses.
Unfortunately sow fertility suffered as
a result of stress, perhaps caused by
aggression. They switched to housing
sows in small groups and try to keep
sows together in original groups to
minimise stress
52
AVOIDING AGGRESSION IN SOWS
summary
1. Sows should be fed separately and simultaneously where
possible

2. Alternatively, feed should be spread out over as wide an area as
possible or released slowly

3. Sows should be kept in small stable groups

4. The sow system should not be overcrowded and should allow
sows to escape from each other


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CHAPTER 4
space and nesting needs of farrowing sows
Diane Halverson
Animal Welfare Institute
54
MATERNAL BEHAVIOUR
nesting in wild boar
BBC Motion Gallery
Film of nesting behaviour in wild boar sow follows

55
MATERNAL BEHAVIOUR
nesting in domestic sows
Diane Halverson / Animal Welfare Institute
Domestic sows have inherited the same nest
building instincts as seen in wild boar
What is the function of the nest?
The nest provides protection from
weather and predators

It helps protect the piglets from being
accidentally crushed by the sow


Film of nesting behaviour in domestic sow follows

56
Marek Spinka
FARROWING SOWS AND THE RISK OF CRUSHING
Why is the risk of crushing high with modern breeds?
Sows are larger; litters larger, so piglets smaller
57
FARROWING SOWS AND THE RISK OF CRUSHING
1. Sows respond naturally to a piglets squeal
How does the sows behaviour reduce the risk of crushing?
Film of Hungarian sows response to a piglets squeal follows

58
FARROWING SOWS AND THE RISK OF CRUSHING
2. Sows check through the bedding and remove piglets before lying down.
The sow needs plenty of space to be able to lie down carefully.

How does the sows behaviour reduce the risk of crushing?

Film of Hungarian sows checking through
the bedding before lying down follows
59
FARROWING CRATES
Most sows are housed in
farrowing crates prior to
giving birth
Farrowing crates are
designed to reduce piglet
crushing by slowing down
the movements of the sow
Film of sow in farrowing crate trying to lie down follows

60
Sows in farrowing crates cannot:
walk or turn round
lie down comfortably
perform important behaviours such
as nest building
interact naturally with her piglets
How is the behaviour of the sow
affected in the farrowing crate?
FARROWING CRATES AND SOW BEHAVIOUR
Her ability to move is very restricted
Film of sow in farrowing crate
trying to get up follows

61
FRUSTRATED MATERNAL BEHAVIOUR
nesting
BBC Motion Gallery
What effects can be caused by
this frustration?
high blood levels of cortisol, a
stress hormone
delayed birth, leading to
increased piglet mortality
The farrowing crate causes
particular stress to a sow trying
to build a nest before farrowing
Film of frustrated nesting behaviour in sow follows

62
What are the risks
of frustrating
normal interactions
between the sow
and her piglets?
Sows in farrowing crates are more likely to savage
their young. The risk of this may be increased if
the sow cannot make normal contact
FRUSTRATED MATERNAL BEHAVIOUR
interaction with young
Shortly after giving birth, sows naturally sniff
their newborn piglets. This helps to create a
bond between them
Film of sow trying to make contact with newborn piglet follows

63
STRESS HORMONE LEVELS
in sows in farrowing crates
Possible reasons include:
The sow cannot escape from her piglets
In the barren environment piglets may begin to bite and
chew at the sow
The sow is likely to have lost condition in the process of
feeding a large litter

These rise at two times:
Just before birth
(Due to frustration of the
nesting instinct)
3-4 weeks after farrowing
Why do they rise again 3-4 weeks after farrowing?
64
Family group system, Brazil. Sows
are released into groups after 3
days in farrowing crate.
What are the advantages and
disadvantages of doing this?
RELEASING SOWS EARLY
Disadvantages:
Sow still confined for at least a
week
Nesting instinct still frustrated
Early interactions between sow
and piglets still impeded

Advantages:
Sow only confined during period
of highest crushing risk
Piglets can mix before weaning
65
photos Marek Spinka
ALTERNATIVES TO THE FARROWING CRATE
Swedish group farrowing system
The sows have a communal straw area with
individual boxes to farrow in
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photo Marek Spinka
ALTERNATIVES TO THE FARROWING CRATE

Differences
Sows cannot find an
entirely isolated spot
to nest
Risk of two sows
nesting in same box
Similarities
Nesting material
readily available

Sows can nest
separately
Piglets can mix
once large enough
to escape nest-box
How far does this system tie in with natural behaviour?
67
ALTERNATIVES TO THE FARROWING CRATE
individual farrowing pens
Advantages:
Isolated nesting spot
Nesting material available
Protection for piglets with
safety bars and heated safety
area
What are the advantages and
disadvantages of this system?
Disadvantages:
Piglets cannot mix with other
litters
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ALTERNATIVES TO THE FARROWING CRATE
outdoor free-range farrowing huts
Each sow has a separate
hut to farrow in
The barriers contain very young
piglets in the huts.
In the UK, 35% of piglets are produced outdoors
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ALTERNATIVES TO THE FARROWING CRATE
outdoor free-range farrowing huts
Individual paddocks
Some outdoor units have individual
paddocks for each sow and litter
What are the advantages and
disadvantage of this?
An advantage is that the sows are
not disturbed by other sows
A disadvantage is that it obviously
costs more in time and effort
Once the piglets are four weeks old, the electric fences separating the
paddocks are removed to allow the families to mix
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Breeds which make good
mothers
Sufficient space for sow to
be able to manoeuvre to
avoid crushing piglets
Excellent stockmanship
Plenty of bedding material
for nesting and warmth
Safety areas for piglets
Good shelter from all types
of weather

ALTERNATIVES TO THE FARROWING CRATE
What features are required to make non-confinement systems work
effectively?
71
SOW AND PIGLET MORTALITIES
UK figures comparing outdoor & indoor herds
Year ending September


Outdoor herds Indoor herds
Sow mortality annually (%)

2.84 5.92
Piglets:
Pigs born dead per litter
0.79 0.96
Mortality of pigs born alive (%)
9.46 11.60
Pigs reared per litter
9.74 9.64
Pigs reared per sow per year
21.14 21.49
UK averages for 2000-2004 (calculated from Meat and Livestock Commission Pig Yearbooks 2001-5)
Can these results be explained?
72
UK SOW AND PIGLET MORTALITIES
possible explanations for figures
Feature
Lower free-range sow
mortality
Fewer free-range pigs
born dead
Lower mortality for free-
range piglets
More outdoor pigs
reared per litter
More indoor pigs reared
per sow per year
Possible explanation/s
Use of farrowing crate can lead to
higher sow death-rate
Stress of farrowing crate can delay
birth, increasing mortality
Savaging rates may be higher with
farrowing crates. Free-range sows bred
for good mothering abilities
Lower mortality for free-range pigs
Indoor sows had slightly higher
frequency of litters
73
SPACE AND NESTING NEEDS OF FARROWING SOWS
summary
1. The large litters and small piglets of most modern breeds means that
they are prone to being crushed

2. Farrowing crates were designed to reduce this risk

3. Confinement at farrowing causes stress particularly at the time when
the sow wants to build a nest

4. Systems which give the sow more freedom are better for welfare and
can give good production figures

5. Free farrowing systems require good management and breeds with
good maternal abilities


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CHAPTER 5
avoiding teeth clipping in piglets
75
TEETH CLIPPING
why it is carried out
As soon as they are born, piglets
compete to select a teat on the sows
udder to which they remain attached
until weaning
Piglets suckle own teat
Why do piglets compete for teats?
The older and stronger piglets try to select the anterior (front) teats that
tend to produce more milk
Why do the front teats produce more milk?
It is probably an evolutionary strategy to ensure some piglets survive
when food is short. When food is plentiful, the sow can produce enough
milk for all her piglets.
76
TEETH CLIPPING
why it is carried out
Piglets are born with sharp incisor teeth
which they use to fight for the best teat
and then to defend their teat
This defence can cause injuries to other
piglets and also to the sows udder
How do the piglets compete for teats?
Vigorous teat defence
Dale Arey
77
TEETH CLIPPING
the problems that it causes

Teeth-clipping is likely to cause
severe pain during the procedure
Damage to the teeth leaves them
prone to infection
Infection can lead to abscesses and
long-term pain

Farmer clipping teeth
What are the likely health and welfare
consequences of this procedure?
Soon after they are born, the piglets
incisors are cut with sharp clippers or
side-cutters
The pig industrys solution to problems
with injuries is to teeth clip
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TEETH CLIPPING
how it can be reduced or prevented
Larger litters increase the amount
of competition
Fostering piglets from large litters
onto smaller litters also increases
competition
Reduction in milk supply through
poor condition, sow illness e.g.
mastitis or sow discomfort due to
confinement or lack of bedding

Piglet with facial injuries
What factors might increase the risk of this occurring?


Piglets are more likely to fight for a better teat if they are not getting
enough milk
79
TEETH CLIPPING
how it can be reduced or prevented
Use breeds that have slightly smaller
litters
Minimise cross-fostering
Ensure good hygiene and sow health to
reduce the risk of infections
Keep sows in free-farrowing systems
with plenty of bedding

Piglets more settled with
reduced competition
How can good management practice reduce the risk of injuries?
80
TEETH CLIPPING
how it can be reduced or prevented

If injuries do become a problem a less
invasive technique is to use teeth grinders
Grinders have a small abrasive wheel
designed to blunt the sharp tip of the
incisors
This procedure is likely to cause less pain
and is less likely to leave the teeth open to
infection
Tooth clipping is banned in several countries including Denmark and
Germany which only allow tooth grinding
Tooth grinding is still a painful mutilation. Routine tooth clipping and
grinding are both banned throughout the EU
Farmer clipping teeth
81
CASE STUDY
enriched indoor production, Schleithal, France
If injuries occur, the farmer uses a teeth grinder
This farm does not clip
teeth
82
CASE STUDY
organic production, Eastbrook farm, UK
This farm uses traditional breeds like
Saddlebacks that have slightly smaller
litters and the sows maintain condition.
The farm does not tooth clip
83
Neither tail docking nor reduction of corner teeth must be
carried out routinely but only where there is evidence that
injuries to sows' teats or to other pigs' ears or tails have
occurred. Before carrying out these procedures, other
measures shall be taken to prevent tail biting and other
vices taking into account environment and stocking
densities (our emphasis). For this reason inadequate
environmental conditions or management systems must be
changed.

Annex to Council Directive 91/630/EEC
EU REGULATIONS REQUIRE:
84
TEETH CLIPPING
summary
1. Injuries caused by teat defence are reduced by teeth-clipping
2. Teeth-clipping causes pain and can lead to infection
3. Tooth-grinding is a less invasive method that can be used to blunt
teeth
4. Injuries are mainly a problem if sows do not produce enough milk for
all their piglets
5. Breeding sows with smaller litters and which can produce plenty of
milk is part of the solution
6. Avoiding udder infections and keeping the sow in a comfortable high
welfare environment can also help improve milk supply
7. Avoiding cross fostering can also reduce the risk of injuries
8. Routine tooth clipping and grinding are not permitted in the EU and
should be avoided by good breeding, environment and management
85
CHAPTER 6
avoiding castration in male piglets
86
CASTRATION
Why it is carried out
Shortly after birth, male piglets
testes are removed
This is because when they become
sexually mature, they can leave an
odour in the meat known as boar
taint which some people find
unpleasant
Some meat buyers insist that
farmers castrate male pigs
87
CASTRATION
How it is carried out
The testes are removed
through slits in the scrotum
made with a scalpel
Piglet about to be castrated
Anaesthetics are rarely used
even though the procedure
causes severe pain
Some people argue that it is
the handling of pigs which is
stressful, not the castration
itself. How do we know the
procedure causes pain?
see next slides
88
Vocal response of piglets to castration
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
Restraint Cleaning incision &
extraction
left
incision and
extraction
right
Cutting
cords
Disinfect
Rate of high-
pitched calls
per second
(>= 1000 Hz)
Castrated piglets
Sham-castrated piglets After Weary et al 1998
IS CASTRATION MORE STRESSFUL THAN HANDLING?
Vocal responses of castrated piglets were compared with those of
piglets which were similarly handled but without castration.
What do the
results show?
89
Frequency of screams during castration (Hz)
0
1000
2000
3000
4000
5000
6000
Normal handling
scream
Scream at first
cut
Scream at
second cut
(after Wemelsfelder & van Putten 1985)
IS CASTRATION MORE STRESSFUL THAN HANDLING?
The frequency (Hz) of vocal responses of piglets was measured at
various stages of castration. What do these results show?
90
CASTRATION
is there further distress after castration?

Following castration, a study showed that piglets:
were less active
showed more trembling, leg shaking, sliding and tail jerking
took longer to lie down
lied down in a way protective of the hindquarters
(after Wemelsfelder & van Putten 1985)

91
CASE STUDY
enriched indoor production, Schleithal, France
The farmer therefore uses a local anaesthetic before castration
The buyers of these pigs
insist on castration
because of the risk of boar
taint in the meat
Anaesthetics provide
short-term pain relief
Analgesics are also
needed to provide
long-term pain relief
92
CASE STUDY
Sparsholt College, UK

In the UK, pigs are very rarely castrated because they are slaughtered
at an earlier age.
How does this avoid the
need for castration?
The pigs are just over 6
months at slaughter and are
sexually immature so boar
taint is less of a problem
Avoiding castration means
that male pigs grow faster and
produce a leaner meat.

93
WHICH IS THE BEST SOLUTION?
It could be a combination
of more than one of these
1. Surgical castration without
pain relief
2. Surgical castration with short
and long term pain relief
3. Immunocastration

4. No castration, but one or
more of the following:
a) Risk boar taint
b) Kill male pigs younger
c) Selectively breed pigs for
less boar taint
d) Use herbal additives in the
diet to reduce boar taint
e) Use sexed semen to
increase the percentage of
females born
f) Test carcases for boar taint
in the slaughterhouse
94
WHICH IS THE BEST SOLUTION?
Compassion in World Farming believes that:
surgical castration without pain relief is unacceptable
In the medium term, surgical castration should be avoided altogether
In the long run, farmers should move towards keeping all pigs entire
95
summary
CASTRATION IN MALE PIGLETS
1. Male piglets are castrated to avoid boar taint
2. The testes are removed through two slits in the scrotum made
with a scalpel
3. The procedure causes acute pain and can affect piglet behaviour
for days
4. Pain can be reduced using a local anaesthetic and a longer acting
analgesic
5. In the UK pigs are slaughtered before they become sexually
mature and so boar taint is less of a problem
6. A number of other alternatives to castration are being considered
96
CHAPTER 7
avoiding early weaning

97
NATURAL WEANING
What is the natural weaning
age for pigs?
Piglets:
begin to eat solid food at about three weeks
gradually eat more as they get older
are completely weaned between 13-17 weeks
MAEP/CIWF
Weaning is the process by
which the sow gradually
reduces the amount milk
given to her piglets making
them more reliant on solid
food
98
EARLY WEANING
in intensive production
Early weaned piglets
What is the usual weaning age for
commercial piglets?
Weaning ages:
EU 4 weeks (3 weeks for all
in/all out systems)
US as low as 2 weeks
Intensively reared piglets are weaned
by forcibly removing them from their
mother
99
EARLY WEANING
in intensive production

Late weaning can lead to loss of condition in sows because:
modern sows produce larger litters
they have been bred for low fat content, so have fewer reserves
to draw on for milk production
Irish sow with her litter
Why does the sow lose condition?
What are the reasons for early
weaning?
Early weaning:
induces oestrus so sow can
become pregnant again
reduces loss of condition in the
sow
100
Because of:
Removal from their mother
Sudden change of diet from milk to solid food
Sudden change of environment
Being mixed with piglets from other litters
Aggression for dominance as a result of mixing
EARLY WEANING
and effects on welfare
Why is early weaning particularly stressful
for piglets?
These stresses are compounded by the fact that they all
happen at the same time
101
EARLY WEANING
and effects on welfare
This behaviour of early-weaned
piglets is called belly nosing
ASAB
Film of belly-nosing in early-weaned piglets follows

102
EARLY WEANING
and effects on welfare
Belly nosing.
ASAB
Belly-nosing resembles the way in
which piglets massage the sows
udder prior to suckling
Film of piglet massaging
sows udder follows

103
Belly-nosing also continues in older
pigs.
Naturally they wouldnt be weaned
until 13-17 weeks old.
It is thought to be a sign of frustration
Belly-nosing is less common in
enriched environments with plenty
of straw. Why might this be?
Belly-nosing is a displaced foraging
behaviour. Providing plenty of
foraging material may help the
weaning process.
Film of belly-nosing
in older pigs follows

EARLY WEANING
and effects on welfare
104
Marek Spinka
EARLY WEANING
and effects on welfare
What are the likely causes of
these problems?
Problems with early weaning
Belly nosing
Digestive problems
Weight loss or growth check
Increased risk of disease
Increased use of antibiotics
- desire to suckle
- sudden change in diet
- diet change and digestive problems
- lowered immunity caused by stress
- lowered immunity
105
EARLY WEANING
and effects on welfare
Stress can be reduced by:
Getting piglets used to solid food before weaning
Using liquid feeds after weaning
Putting piglets into groups before weaning
Leaving piglets in a familiar environment after weaning
Providing a comfortable and enriched environment throughout
Weaning later wherever possible
How can stress caused by early weaning be reduced?
106
CASE STUDY
loose-housed farrowing system, Sweden
Piglets can
escape from the
hut when bigger
They mix with the
other piglets
The sow is
removed at
weaning
Sows farrow in
groups
photos Marek Spinka
107
CASE STUDY
LATER WEANING
organic production
Eastbrook farm, UK
Wean at 8 weeks or later (organic rules state minimum 40 days)
Use breeds like saddlebacks (left) that have better fat reserves and
produce slightly smaller litters so they can wean later
108
EARLY WEANING
summary
1. Piglets naturally wean at 13-17 weeks old
2. Commercial piglets are weaned early at 2-4 weeks old to
increase number of pigs produced per sow
3. Early weaning causes stress leading to a range of piglet health
and welfare problems
4. Stress can be reduced by good management practice
5. Organic systems wean at 6-8 weeks to reduce health and
welfare problems and the need for antibiotics
6. Later weaning requires breeds of sows capable of sustaining a
full lactation with good fat reserves and slightly smaller litters
109
CHAPTER 8
avoiding tail-docking and tail biting
110
TAIL-BITING
This pigs tail has been bitten by one or more of her companions
111
TAIL-BITING
what causes it
What factors have been linked to the likelihood of tail-biting in intensive
production?
Barren environments: there are no suitable substrates for the pigs to
forage and chew

Overcrowding: there is little opportunity for pigs to avoid each other

Poor environments: discomfort can increase restlessness and
frustration

Poor nutrition: lack of feeder space and/or nutrients in the diet

112
TAIL-BITING
the problems it causes
Seemingly innocent nibbling can
rapidly spread through the whole
group and take on the resemblance
of cannibalism
The wounds can cause considerable pain to the tail-bitten pig

Infections can get into the central vertebrae causing serious health
problems and carcass damage

It is a sign of poor environments and/or management

It is one of the greatest economic losses to pig production
113
On this farm, this was the only case
of tail-biting observed in over 100
pigs. Why wasnt it more common?
The farm manager attributed a low
level of tail-biting to an enriched high-
welfare environment with straw.
TAIL-BITING
the problems it causes
114
TAIL-BITING
the industrys solution to the problem
Shortly after birth,
each piglets tail is
docked with a blade
or a hot wire
What is the industrys
solution to the
problem?
115
TAIL-BITING
the industrys solution to the problem
How is tail-docking likely to
reduce tail-biting?
Removing most or just part of the tail may work by:
making the tail less obvious to a foraging pig
making the tail more sensitive to investigation, so pigs are less
likely to tolerate tail-nibbling
116
TAIL-DOCKING
arguments for and against
Lesions from tail-biting
Arguments for:
Tail-docking is a simple way of
reducing tail-biting
Arguments against:
Tail-docking causes pain, distress
and risk of infections
It can lead to the formation of
neuromas (swollen nerves)
Tail-docking does not address the
causes of the problem
What are the arguments for and
against tail-docking?
117
TAIL-BITING
how it can be reduced or prevented
Some farms provide
chains and toys to try and
reduce problems with tail-
biting
Which of these two methods of
enrichment are likely to be most
effective in reducing tail-biting?
Wood shavings, see next slide
118
TAIL-BITING
methods of enrichment that work best
Effect of environmental enrichment on tail-biting in
piglets (after Zonderland et al, 2004)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Chain Rubber toy Straw
hopper
Straw on
floor
Form of enrichment
%

M
i
l
d

o
r

s
e
r
i
o
u
s

l
e
s
i
o
n
s
Mild lesions (%)
Serious lesions (%)
Zonderland et al
investigated the
effects of different
kinds of enrichment
on the number of mild
and serious injuries
caused by tail-biting.
What do the results
show?
119
TAIL-BITING
methods of enrichment that work best
There are three stages to foraging behaviour:
Searching
Manipulating
Eating
Which of these stages are provided by:
Chains?
Ropes?
Beds of saw dust or straw?
Rough ground, pasture or woodland?
An increasing amount of foraging is enabled as you go down the list
Film of rooting behaviour follows

120
Neither tail docking nor reduction of corner teeth must be carried out
routinely but only where there is evidence that injuries to sows' teats
or to other pigs' ears or tails have occurred. Before carrying out
these procedures, other measures shall be taken to prevent tail
biting and other vices taking into account environment and
stocking densities (our emphasis). For this reason inadequate
environmental conditions or management systems must be changed.

Pigs must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of material
to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities, such as
straw, hay, wood, sawdust, mushroom compost, peat or a mixture of
such


Annex to Council Directive 91/630/EEC
EU REGULATIONS REQUIRE:
121
Deep-bed of rice hulls
CASE STUDY - DEEP BED SYSTEM
developed by EMBRAPA, Brazil
Suitable for small-scale farming:
capital costs 40-60% lower
existing buildings can be adapted
Better for the environment:
reduce ammonia emissions 50%
produce less waste and a better
fertiliser
Good for production and welfare:
reduce tail-biting and lameness
provide foraging opportunities
provide comfort

122
CASE STUDY SLATTED vs DEEP BED SYSTEM
experiment on Brazilian farm
Experimental group on
deep-bed
Group on part slatted
system
Weaners on the deep bed system:
kept warmer and huddled less
suffered less from diarrhoea
were more active and less fearful See next slide
123
Environmental enrichment can:
reduce fearfulness of novel
situations and human interaction
later reduce stress during transit
benefit health, welfare and food
quality
CASE STUDY SLATTED vs DEEP BED SYSTEM
Why do these two groups of pigs respond so differently to photographers?
The pigs on the right are used to:
a more stimulating
environment
interaction with people
124
TAIL-BITING IN GROWING PIGS
summary
1. Tail-biting is a major problem for welfare and production
2. Tail-biting is a displaced foraging behaviour and a sign of poor
welfare
3. Tail-docking is a common method of reducing tail-biting
4. Tail-docking causes pain and risks infection. It deals with the
symptoms of the problem, not the causes
5. Environmental enrichment with straw or other fibrous material
reduces tail-biting by encouraging normal foraging behaviour
6. Chains and toys are less effective enrichments since they dont
allow the full range of foraging behaviour
7. European Union regulations require environmental enrichment to
be tried before resorting to tail-docking

125
CHAPTER 9
good stockmanship
126
STOCKMANSHIP
good welfare depends on good stockmanship
What makes a good stockperson?
Some views of stockpeople:

Good stockmanship is about understanding your pigs
A good stockperson is always checking that everything is alright
A good stockperson knows instinctively when something is
wrong
It is a job you have to need to do
It takes a lifetime to learn
127
STOCKMANSHIP
good welfare depends on good stockmanship
A good stockperson needs:
Empathy
Knowledge and experience
Good observation skills
Conscientiousness

How do these make a difference?
128
STOCKMANSHIP
empathy
Empathy is all about how you would feel if in the pigs situation
This stockperson is aware that this
sow is stressed because she is about
to give birth in a farrowing crate. She
therefore tries to soothe the sow and
cool her down.
Do some people naturally make
more empathetic stockpersons?
This farm deliberately chooses female
staff for supervising farrowing sows
Film of cooling farrowing sow follows

129
STOCKMANSHIP
knowledge and experience
These pig producers attend regular meetings where they share the
latest scientific information
130
STOCKMANSHIP
good observation skills
Recognising signs that pigs are thriving and content or not
These stockpersons know that
bedding down is a good time to
observe the sows for any sign of
illness or poor welfare
Film of bedding down of sows follows

131
STOCKMANSHIP
good observation skills
Any sick or injured pigs
should be moved
immediately to a sick
pen
Sick pen deep
bedded with straw
Health problems should
be monitored and vets
should be consulted
regularly

132
STOCKMANSHIP
conscientiousness
Paying careful attention to the pigs and the equipment they
rely on
These farmers check whether
there is sufficient bedding in
the arcs
133
STOCKMANSHIP
welfare codes
The 5 freedoms form the basis of
welfare codes that are recommended for
pigs

Many different countries produce welfare
codes that provide a useful reference for
stockpersons

Although they are not always legally
binding, they can be cited in
prosecutions

In the UK, the law states that every
person caring for animals must have
instruction in the codes
English Welfare codes
Defra
134
STOCKMANSHIP
welfare codes are based on the five freedoms
All stockpersons must be aware of the 5 freedoms:

freedom from hunger and thirst
freedom from discomfort
freedom from illness
freedom to perform natural behaviour
freedom from fear and distress

Most stockpersons readily recognise the first three freedoms but
freedom from fear and distress and freedom to perform natural
behaviour can too easily be overlooked
135
STOCKMANSHIP
freedom to perform natural behaviour
Stockpersons need to be aware of the
natural behaviour and ethology of the
pig
It is common for stockpersons to see bar
biting as normal behaviour having never
seen pigs in a more natural environment
136
STOCKMANSHIP
freedom to perform natural behaviour
Pigs are naturally clean animals and will
select a particular part of the pen away
from the main lying area for dunging
If pigs are overcrowded and become too
hot, they will start to use the dunging area
as a wallow to try to cool down
137
STOCKMANSHIP
freedom to perform natural behaviour
For outdoor sows it is even more important to have the correct provisions
so that they can regulate body temperature through their own natural
behaviour
Wallows Well bedded shelters
138
STOCKMANSHIP
freedom from fear and distress
Pigs are naturally fearful of
humans

The attitude and behaviour of
the stockperson is important
for reducing this fear

Reducing fear not only
improves welfare it also
improves performance
Film of fearfulness in early-weaned piglets follows

139
STOCKMANSHIP
freedom from fear and distress
Type of interaction Good None Poor
Time to react with person (s) 10 92 160
Corticosteroid (ng/ml)

1.6 1.7 2.5
Pregnancy rate of gilts (%) 88 57 33
Growth rate 8-18 weeks (g/d) 897 881 837
Several studies have compared the effects of stockperson interaction
on performance in pigs
(Gonyou et al., 1986; Hemsworth et al., 1986; 1987)
What do these results
suggest?
140
STOCKMANSHIP
welfare and production
Good interactions with pigs
reduce both fear and stress

Reducing stress improves
performance

This is because stress can have
a negative effect on:

growth
reproductive functioning
immunity
Regular inspection reduces stress
Better interactions with pigs can
be developed through training
What would this training
need to include?
141
STOCKMANSHIP
effects of training on both welfare and production
Effect of training
Abnormal behaviours -36%
Fear of humans -29%
No. of piglets weaned +4.8%
Pigs/sow/year +6%
A four year study looking at 40 farms showed that the training of
stockpeople can have a beneficial effect on both welfare and production
The training developed an understanding of the behaviour of pigs and a
knowledge of how they should be handled correctly.
The training encouraged the stockpeople to develop more empathetic
attitudes to pigs
(Hemsworth et al., 1987)
142
STOCKMANSHIP
handling pigs
The most common interaction between stockpersons and pigs occurs
when they are being moved
Good handling can have a beneficial
effect on meat quality
How?
Because stress before slaughter
increases the risk of PSE (Pale
Soft Exudative) meat, reducing
meat quality
Film of pig-handling follows

143
STOCKMANSHIP
handling pigs
Make sure the passageway is secure and uncluttered
A thin layer of bedding can be used to cover any distractions in the
floor surface
Always use a pig board to prevent escape back to where they came
from
Use encouraging tones and gentle slapping to let the pigs know where
you are and to achieve a steady flow
Electric goads and sticks should be prohibited


What are the important things to remember when moving pigs?
144
STOCKMANSHIP
welfare potential
Pigs can suffer in any system if stockmanship
is poor
However, systems vary in their potential to
provide good welfare
In most intensive systems, the stockperson is
limited to ensuring that the pigs do not face
any additional stressors
Most extensive systems have a higher welfare
potential but this can be highly dependent on
good stockmanship
Which of these systems has the higher
potential for good welfare?
145
STOCKMANSHIP
summary
1. A good stockperson has empathy, knowledge, good observation and
conscientiousness

2. Stockpersons must be aware of the 5 Freedoms and Welfare Codes
and any related laws issued by their particular country

3. Good stockmanship is a main factor for the benefit of both pig welfare
and performance

4. Good handling using correct procedures can be beneficial for meat
quality

5. Stockmanship can be significantly improved by training

146
STOCKMANSHIP
In many situations, the importance of the
stockperson as a welfare worker is
undervalued
147
CHAPTER 10
summary
148
PIG PRODUCTION SUMMARY
good welfare depends on good environments
The environment must provide:
Shelter and comfort
Appropriate space
Appropriate company
Appropriate facilities for the
expression of natural behaviours
Material for foraging
All can be provided in good indoor and outdoor systems
What must a good environment provide?
149
PIG PRODUCTION SUMMARY
good welfare depends on good genetics
Good breeding should ensure that:
Pigs are healthy and are adapted to the
local climate and conditions
Sows have good mothering skills
Sows can sustain a full lactation without
unsustainable loss of condition
Sows do not produce larger litters than
they can rear
Pigs display a good temperament to each
other and to people when properly
treated
How can good breeding improve welfare?
150
PIG PRODUCTION SUMMARY
good welfare depends on good stockmanship
Ensure the needs of pigs are
provided for
Recognise welfare problems
whenever they arise
Achieve the welfare and production
potential of the farming system
Ensure that pigs come to feel
appropriately relaxed in the company
of humans
What are the crucial roles of the
stockperson?
151
PIG PRODUCTION SUMMARY
Animal welfare aspects of Good Agricultural Practice
Environments
Genetics
Stockmanship
Health care
Nutrition
All are essential
If any of these are missing, welfare is likely to be poor
Which of these is the most
important?
Pig welfare therefore depends on
good:
152
Biological systems are more complex than technological ones

The most intensive systems are not necessarily the most advanced

Farm animals are sentient beings. They have feelings which matter to
them

For animals to grow well, their needs have to be understood, which are
emotional as well as physical

Developing good stockmanship is one the best investments that can be
made for welfare and production

PIG PRODUCTION SUMMARY
Animal welfare aspects of Good Agricultural Practice
Finally, it is important to remember:
153
ANIMAL WELFARE ASPECTS OF GOOD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICE (GAP)
pig production
This presentation has been
adapted for use on shareview

Full version available free from
ciwf.org/gap on DVD-ROM

Full version includes embedded
video clips and interactive
animation

DVD-ROM also includes film,
book and lecturers notes
GAP Pigs DVD-ROM
154
PIG PRODUCTION SUMMARY
Animal Welfare Aspects of Good Agricultural Practice
THE END

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