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An investigation to assess the impact of flooring types on the welfare and health of pigs - AW0135

This proposal is for an observational study, building on our previous work, to investigate the impact of all floor types on the health and welfare of pigs of all ages on commercial farms. One hundred farms will be visited and 150 - 300 pigs per farm will be examined. Data on physical injury and maladaptive behaviours will be recorded and both farmers and their veterinarians will be interviewed about the current and past diseases on the farms and the use of vaccines and therapies. The pens that these pigs are in will be examined with particular relevance to identifying the information listed below. The floor type and quality and slat and slot dimension and other factors known to influence pig health and welfare will be recorded from each pen. The data collected will be used to assess the impact of the introduction of EU directives 2001/88/EC and 2001/93/EC on thehealth and welfare of pigs.
Specifically, the following will be addressed:
1. The impact of the EU directives on slat and slot size on the health and welfare of pigs.
2. A comparison of the health and welfare of pigs between those kept under the EU recommended floors and other floor types currently in commercial use in GB.
3. The proportion of pigs health and welfare that is influenced by each floor type i.e. the attributable fraction.
4. The pathology of foot and limb lesions on different floor types.
a) The new regulations will reduce/minimise foot and limb injuries and behavioural vices (e.g. tail biting seen in pigs on slatted floors).
b) That solid floors, especially those with bedding, in GB currently protect against many of these injuries and that outdoor herds are at a minimal risk.
c) that a proportion of the health and welfare of pigs can be attributed to floor type.
d) That different floor types lead to different foot and limb pathologies.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Impact of Floor Types on the Health and Welfare of Pigs   (373k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2008

Cost: £492,218
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Warwick
Animal Welfare              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare