Publish Date: May 6, 2015
Over the past decade there has been increased awareness from the public on animal welfare issues related to commercial swine. More specifically, in the United States, much time and discussion has focused on housing conditions of sows during farrowing and lactation. Restricted sow movement in the traditional farrowing stall has been identified as a significant concern with growing pressure towards the elimination of this system. Recognizing changes in consumer demand and the desire to improve sow welfare by meeting her biological needs during farrowing, alternative farrowing options need to be assessed. The purpose of this factsheet is to identify alternative farrowing options and discuss the impacts of these facilities on the biological needs of the sow, piglet welfare and impact on worker safety, efficiency and labor costs.
Publish Date: April 9, 2010
Concerns about the welfare of pigs and other farm animals are growing and it is frequently suggested that modern production practices may cause physical and mental suffering to animals. Criticisms such as these are based on underlying beliefs that animals have mental capabilities that enable them not only to be aware of what is happening to them, but to also have a vested interest in how they are treated. This consequently determines whether they experience positive or negative emotional states. Presumably, then, if pigs are treated in ways that they find to be aversive, and over which they have no control, they are as likely to suffer physically as psychologically, and this in turn may reduce the level of welfare they experience [3,14].