15 August 1997

Foot injuries have soared since 60s

FOOT injuries in pigs are on the increase. A survey in 1963 found foot lesions in 65% of bacon weight pigs at an abattoir in southern England; now nearly 95% of pigs have at least one affected digit and 68% an injury to a digit on all four feet.

Thats according to a new survey reported in the Vet Record, Aug 2, 1997. Dr Niki Mouttotou and colleagues recorded the lesions seen in the feet of 4038 pigs for 17 farms examined postmortem at an abattoir in the south-west.

Erosion was the most common injury on the sole of the feet; white line lesions the main defect of the claw wall. Lesions were more common in the lateral than medial digits and hindfeet more affected than front.

The report stresses, however, that there are many causes of foot lesions and calls for more research into pinpointing the risks.n