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Targeted focus on animal welfare in pig housing

Pig welfare in Danish housing units is set for even further improvements. A new strategy from the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, Pig Production, is all about future-proofing production in Denmark and maintaining its good reputation abroad.

Danish pig production is acknowledged across the world for its quality, efficiency, animal welfare, food safety and sustainability. More than 130 countries import pork from Denmark and the Board of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, Pig Production are determined for this to continue. The Board has therefore adopted a new strategy, which focuses on maintaining and further developing this position. The strategy will remain effective until 2020.

Keeping an eye on the ball
Focusing on food safety, traceability, sustainability and animal welfare, Danish pig producers will set their own direction, make whatever adjustments are necessary and pro-actively address any issues that arise. Drawing on new initiatives, the sector wishes to raise the bar and continue to develop pig welfare in housing units. The sector, for example, will use the insight that has been gained from farms during audit visits to a much greater extent: all with the aim of improving animal welfare.

Read more: Danish pigs in demand

Best Practice
More than 3,000 audits are carried out under the auspices of the DANISH scheme every year; the Danish pig producers’ own quality programme.
"We need to disseminate ’best practice’ so that all producers ensure that their animals are treated in the right way. The vast majority are doing well and are drawing on the latest knowledge, adopting new initiatives and new technology to ensure the best conditions. We now need to make sure that this is the case with all our producers,” says Erik Larsen, Chairman, Danish Agriculture and Food Council Pig Production. Mr Larsen points out that Denmark has a high level of animal welfare and that the starting point of the strategy is therefore to maintain the high level that Danish pig producers are proud of:
"We’re extremely proud of being among the best in the world, and you won’t find one single pig producer who would disagree with me,” adds Mr Larsen.
We will publish an article about the main aspects of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council Pig Production’s strategy later in the year.

Read also: New strategy for Danish pig production

Top priority welfare objectives
The ambition is for these four animal welfare objectives to be achieved in the long term and to become part of the production concept for Danish standard pigs:

  • Farrowing pens for loose-housed nursing sows
  • Intact tails
  • An end to castration
  • A higher rate of piglet survival

If you have any questions about pig production and animal welfare, please contact Asger Kjær Nielsen, DANISH Quality Manager, akn@seges.dk, +45 3339 4431