Welfare aspects of pig rearing

Welfare aspects of pig rearing

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EC seminar, Mariensee 18-19 September 1986
Agricultural and fisheries research
Animal production

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Commission of the European Communities
AGRICULTURE
Welfare aspects of pig rearing
Report
EUR 10776 EN Commission of the European Communities
AGRICULTURE
Welfare aspects of pig rearing
Edited by
D. Marx, A. Grauvogl, D. Smidt
EC seminar held on 18 and 19 September 1986 in Mariensee
Sponsored by the
Commission of the European Communities
Directorate­General for Agriculture
Coordination of Agricultural Research
PARI/. EUROP. BiLüoth. ι 1987 N.C./ ËlUfö 10776 EN
CL Published by the
COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES
Directorate-General
Telecommunications, Information Industries and Innovation
Bâtiment Jean Monnet
LUXEMBOURG
LEGAL NOTICE
Neither the Commission of the European Communities nor any person acting on behalf
of then is responsible for the use which might be made of the following
information.
Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication
Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1987
ISBN 92-825-7311-7
Catalogue number: CD-NA-10776-EN-C
© ECSC-EEC-EAEC, Brussels · Luxembourg, 1987
Printed in Belgium PREFACE
The CEC-Seminar "Welfare Aspects of Pigs Rearing" was held on October
18/19 19B6 at the Institut für Tierzucht und Tierverhalten, Hariensee of
the Federal Research Centre of Agriculture (FAL). The need to discuss this
topic arose from the problems created by the continuing trend towards
intensive production throughout the E.C. For economic reasons, amoung other
things, suckling periods were shortened in order to rsise the number of
piglets per sow per year, area dimensions per piglet were reduced, manuel
work was replaced by automation snd strawless rearing systems were establi­
shed.
The impact of these snd other meaeures on animei welfare were the
central issue of the seminar. Its four sessions dealt with!
1. Rearing systems for piglets
2. Ethological aspects of welfsre in piglets
7. Physiological and health aspects of welfare in piglets
4. Legislative activities in Europe concerning welfare in piglets.
The participants arrived at a general consent on the minimal require­
ments which must be demanded from rearing systems for gusranteeing the wel­
fare of animals. They also agreed on the interdependence of welfare, health
and production yields on the potential benefits to be expected from a
considerate and harmonized legislature for both animals and producers.
As part of the Community Programme for Coordinating Agricultural
Research, the sponsorship of the Commission of the European Communities,
which helped to further promote interdisciplinary research in the area of
animal welfare is gratefully acknowledged. CONTENTS Page
PREFACE
SESSION I; REARING SYSTEMS FOR PIGLETS
1.1. Survey on rearing systems and duration of 2
suckling periods
P.R. English
1.2. Rearing of piglets in conventional and early
weaning systems
1.2.1. Advantages and problems of conventional 13
rearing of piglets
A. Aumaìtre, M.C. Meunier-Salaun
1.2.2. New concepts of the rearing of piglets 34
after conventional suckling periods
R.G. Bure
1.2.3. Rearing of piglets after early weaning
1.2.3.1. Reguirements for keeping piglets 42
in battery cages, flatdecks and on
solid floor with respect to different
weaning ages
H. van der Heyde
1.2.3.2. Economic aspects of rearing 57
early weaned piglets
T. Hanrahan
DISCUSSION (Chairman: E. Jjirgensen) 6
SESSION II: ETHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF WELFARE IN PIGLETS
2.1. Development of behaviour in piglets 70
S. Edwards
2.2. Behaviour of early weaned piglets in free 81
choice or forced situations
D. Marx, R. Mertz
2.3. The significance of straw for the behaviour 94
of piglets
A. Grauvogl
2.4. Abnormal behaviour in piglets with respect 101
to rearing conditions
W. Schouten
DISCUSSION (Chairman: F.O. ödberg) 117
- V Page
SESSION III: PHYSIOLOGICAL AND HEALTH ASPECTS OF WELFARE
IN PIGLETS
3.1. Physiological aspects of welfare in piglets 120
J. Ladewig
3.2. Endocrine aspects of suckling and milk7
ejection in relation to welfare
F. Ellendorff
3.3. Health problems in piglets with respect to 132
animal welfare
D. Sabec
3.4. Piglet growth and development in relation to9
welfare aspects
M. Hagels^
DISCUSSION (Chairman: V. Russo) 152
SESSION IV: LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES IN EUROPE
CONCERNING WELFARE IN PIGLETS
Speaker: N. Voetz4
DISCUSSION (Chairman: J. Farmakis) 16
GENERAL CONCLUSIONS (R. Zayan)5
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS 171
VI SESSION I
Rearing systems for piglets
Chairman: E. Jørgensen
- 1 -SURVEY ON REARIIX3 SYSTEMS AMD DURATION OF SUCKLDG PERIODS
Dr. P. R. English
School of Agriculture
University of Aberdeen
581 King Street
AberdeenScotland AB9 1UD
Paper presented at EC Seminar 'Welfare aspects of pig rearing' September 18-19, 1986.
llariensee, Fed. Rep. of Germany.
ABSTRACT
Within each member country of the EEC, pigs are weaned at a wide range of ages. While pigs
weaned around 3 weeks of age are more vulnerable in the immediate post weaning period than pigs
weaned at older ages, pigs weaned at any age nust be well cared for in terms of diet, housing
and other important requirenents to help them through the difficult transition which they
experience following weaning. A range of housing types is available for newly weaned pigs and
these rust be capable of providing the required climatic environment for the newly weaned pig
especially with regard to temperature level. Denands on such housing are greater in the case
of earlier weaning and in colder and more variable climates. Overall management of the pig,
of its housing and all other provisions to cater for its exact requirenents have a pre-eminent
influence on its wellbeing and performance.
HiTRODUCTION
From the 6 to 8 week weaning systems which ware practised sons 20 years ago there has been
a narked trend towards earlier weaning of piss in most countries in the world. This change
has been brought about in an attenpt to increase the productivity of the individual sow and the
profitability of pig production. ^he change to earlier weaning has been of benefit to the
breeding sov; in many situations for, when subjected to nursing a large litter for 6 to 8 weeks,
a proportion of sovs vrere emaciated by weaning, having catabolised considerable amounts of body
tissue in meeting part of the nutritional requirenents for their milk production. While
earlier weaning was of obvious benefit to such sows, the trend imposed the considerable
challenge of providing for the optical needs of a less mature piglet at weaning. This optimal
provision for the earlier weaned pig could not be made overnight but, with improved knowledge
of all the requirenents of the pig, including those of diet and feeding, climate, health,
behaviour, social aspects and overall management, the wellbeing of the earlier weaned pig on
the great majority of comercial farms is catered for very considerably better today than it
was 10 or-even 5 years ago.
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