Promoting Positive Welfare for Pigs

20 Dec

According to the RSPCA’s 2016 Welfare for Pigs Information Sheet, approximately half of the meat consumed globally is pork and in the UK about 10 million pigs are produced each year. A range of housing solutions – both indoor and outdoor – are used and both can provide ideal conditions.

There is a lot of good work going on to promote positive welfare and farming methods that improve housing conditions for pigs. The Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock outlines a comprehensive approach to providing the right environment for pigs.

The Five Freedoms

The Code highlights five key areas that can be used for assessing the welfare of pigs and it is known as the Five Freedoms:

1.      Freedom from Hunger and Thirst

Always ensure that pigs have good access to a fresh supply of food and water. A healthy balanced diet will ensure productivity levels are met.

2.      Freedom from Discomfort

It is important to ensure that pigs have a comfortable environment. Check that the flooring is suitable, and they have an appropriate surface to rest on.

3.      Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease

Monitoring the environment that the pigs live in will help prevent injuries from happening. If accidents occur quickly diagnose the problem and treat the injury. A full analysis should be carried out to avoid the same problem repeating.

4.      Freedom to Express Natural and Normal Behaviour

Pigs should have a suitable space to carry out their normal activities as they would in the wild. Pigs are naturally curious animals and spend much of their time exploring and rooting. If they are stopped from doing this, they may exhibit abnormal behaviour. This can cause them to harm either themselves or the other pigs they are housed with.

5.      Freedom from Fear and Distress

Provide conditions that the pigs can relax in, to avoid any unnecessary stress.

Responsible planning and management of the pig’s environment, using the five freedoms as a guide is a good way to promote positive welfare.

Pig Toy Solutions

Introducing pig enrichment is a good way to allow pigs express their natural behavioural patterns and reduce stress in the group.  EASYFIX pig toys are designed to improve their housing environment and provide environmental enrichment.

EASYFIX Hanging Toys

Our Hanging Toys for pigs are made from high quality natural rubber, which is pliable, durable and provides a good bite. The hanging toy is suspended and the moulded rubber legs can occupy up to four pigs at a time. It’s very easy to install and helps reduce tail biting and aggressive behaviour in pigs.


EASYFIX Floor Toys

The Floor Toy for pigs is another very popular option for pigs. The pig toy remains at floor level, imitating the pig’s natural posture and behaviour. Up to 6 pigs can interact with the pig toy at the same time and it is produced from high quality natural rubber.

Find out More

If you would like additional information on promoting positive pig welfare, please contact us.