Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Welfare of finishing pigs under different management systems. - AW0130

A multidisciplinary research programme on optimising finishing systems for pig production, addressing corporate and policy priorities (cost of production, food safety and quality)and covering research activity relating to public sector policy (environmetal impact and welfare) has been jointly developed by reserach organisations, producers and the MLC. The proposed research programme is aimed at optimising key components of finishing systems, feeding (ad libitum liquid and dry feeding) and housing (fully slatted and straw based) for pigs to:

Reduce cost of production
Limit environmental impact
Improve food safety
Enhance pig welfare and health

The programme invloves the Universities of Nottingham, Plymouth and Newcastle and Silsoe Research Institute, Veterinary Laboratories Agency and MLC's Technical Division, Stotfold Pig Development Unit and the Meat Technology Unit. The welfare and health element of the programme is covered under a seperate applictaion to MAFF by the University of Newcastle.

The research effort includes development of liquid feeding technology to improve nutrient utilisation, enhance food safety and reduce environmental impact. This includes processing of liquid feeds with enzymes and controlled fermentation with lactic acid bacteria. The development of fermentation technology for on-farm application will coincide with the completion of the underpinning research at Plymouth University. This systems research is therefore strongly positioned to exploit the know-how from MLC/MAFF and Liquid Feeders research Group investment in the more basic/strategic work at Plymouth University.

01: To quanify pig health and welfare when fed either dry or liquid diets, and the interaction with housing system.
02: To quantify pig health and welfare in slatted or straw based systems.
03: To provide objective data on the feeding space requirements for pigs given liquid or dry feed.
04: To provide objective data on the role of environmental enrichment in pig welfare, performance and meat quality in relation to housing and feeding system.
05: To synthesis recommendations for comerically applicable finishing pig systems which optimise pig health and welfare.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Welfare of finishing pigs under different management systems   (328k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2001

To: 2005

Cost: £185,940
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Newcastle
Livestock Farming              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare