Materials for rummaging and investigation
In Denmark, the pigs must have both rummaging and investigation material that will provide for their need to examine their surroundings and rummage around with their snouts. The EU legislation also has requirements for investigation material but Denmark has an additional requirement for rummaging material for the pigs.
Under Danish law, all piglets, pigs for slaughter, maiden gilts, hogs as well as sows and gilts must have sufficient amounts of suitable rummaging and investigation material. The EU legislation only requires investigation material whereas in Denmark, there is also a requirement for rummaging material. In many EU counties, metal chains and plastic are approved materials but this is not the case in Denmark.
Natural investigation material
The investigation material must take into account the pigs’ need for investigation, i.e. to examine their surroundings. Pigs investigate their surroundings by rummaging, smelling, biting and chewing. In order for the material to be suitable as investigation material, it must be manipulable and deformable, but the material does not have to be spread on the floor.
The material could be e.g. straw, wood, rope or other natural materials.
Rummaging material is an extra requirement in Denmark
Material that fulfils the pigs’ need for rummaging about. The need for rummaging about is considered to be fulfilled if the pigs can rummage with their snouts in the material while standing in a natural position with their heads downwards. The material must therefore be manipulable, deformable and placed at floor level in order to be suitable as rummaging material.
Dry feed dispensed from automatic units in small amounts and where the pigs have to work in order to get the feed out is also considered as rummaging material but otherwise, straw, wood, rope and other natural material spread on the floor is also considered to be rummaging material.