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Photo: DAFC

International recognition of Danish pig production

The EU PiG project is all about sharing new knowledge in European pig production.

Three Danish pig producers were recently appointed ambassadors for their initiatives within the following areas:

  • Routine weighing for accurate feeding
  • Clean drinking water for pigs to reduce the risk of disease
  • 'Heart Pig': marketing via welfare brand

"The nominations are an important acknowledgement of the significant work that Danish pig producers are doing to drive developments forward," says Claus Hansen from SEGES. “The fact that Denmark has emerged as a leading country in the EU within these areas means a lot for pig farming in our country.”

The Danish Ambassadors
Feed management - Aage Lauritzen
Aage Lauritzen routinely weighs pigs to ensure they receive the right feed mix. They are also regularly monitored to ensure they develop in line with expectations. All pigs in the herd are weighed on a weekly basis and the data on each pig is input into a system to measure weight gain.

Clean drinking water - Jens Ole Bladt
Jens Ole Bladt uses a water purification system DCW (Danish Clean Water) which ensures clean water. It also impairs the formation of biofilm and bacteria in the water pipes. The disinfectant is biodegradable and approved for drinking water for production animals. The result is a reduced occurrence of disease, which means a reduced need for antibiotics.

Market-driven animal welfare label with ”heart pigs” - Niels Aage Arve
The new animal welfare label has four basic criteria, i.e. no tail docking, sows are loose-housed except for a few days at farrowing, all pigs have access to straw for rooting and nesting and transport times are no more than eight hours. One heart meets the basic criteria. While two hearts have further requirements. Three hearts denote that even more rigorous requirements have been met, including free-range farrowing sows and access to outdoor space. In return, the producer receives DKK 1.30 more per kg at slaughter, which corresponds to the extra production costs.

Other initiatives within Danish pig production have also been noted. One example is the work being done to further reduce antibiotic consumption at herd level.

Wide support
Some 13 EU countries and 19 organisations are participating in the project. The aim is to share the latest best practice and innovation in pig production. SEGES Pig Research Centre represented Denmark.

In addition to the fact that Danish pig production now has three ambassadors in key areas, the project also provides SEGES with valuable insight into pig breeding in other countries.

”Even through we are competitors, we can learn from each other, which benefits the entire industry,” says Claus Hansen. ”There’s no need to reinvent the wheel if a solution already exists in another country that has been tried and tested.”