Know How / Pigs / Health and welfare

Good health and welfare are paramount for all pig producers. Poor pig health and welfare affects performance and cost of production.

Keep up-to-date with the latest information on biosecurity and diseases such as PRRS, salmonella, enzootic pneumonia and African Swine Fever (ASF). You can also find solutions to help with tail biting and husbandry.

Case studies

PIGS

Single-parity move lifts pig herd performance

Setting up single-parity herds has been central to improving pig health across the entire breeding and finishing pig operation at North Farm Livestock (NFL) in Holt, Norfolk. NFL was one…

MEDICINES

How a pig farmer has overcome salmonella in weaner piglets

Pig farmer David Kemp has managed to beat a nasty outbreak of salmonella, in the process cutting antibiotics use to less than 1mg/kg. Mr Kemp, who runs a farrow-to-finishing enterprise…

PIGS

How a Spanish enrichment system reduces tail biting in pigs

A rotating system of chains which moves hanging pig enrichment material from one pen to another is helping keep tail biting at bay on a Spanish pig farm. At Rosa…

PIGS

How Norfolk pig farmers cut water use by 50%

Moulded plastic tanks with nipple drinkers have transformed water quality and brought water and labour savings for a Norfolk outdoor pig operation. The team at LSB Pigs, based at East…

PIGS

How integration works on one US pig farm

Set in the heart of the US corn belt, Iowa is a farming mecca. Mile after mile of maize and soya bean fields make this an ideal place for pig…

LIVESTOCK

How Dutch farmers reduced antibiotics use by 60%

Strict regulation has more than halved Dutch antibiotics use in recent years as a new era in farm health planning and probiotics has driven livestock systems. More frequent veterinary visits,…

Practical advice

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PIGS

How to avoid transmission of the deadly ASF virus to pigs

With one devastating outbreak already plaguing 2020, specialist pig vet Duncan Berkshire stresses the importance of keeping African swine fever out. He explains how the disease is transmitted so farmers…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

3 tips to help cut zinc oxide from weaner diets

Reducing protein levels and increasing feed intake are helping a growing number of Danish piggeries remove zinc oxide from weaner diets.    A study of the practices on Danish farms…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

How to protect your pig farm from flies

Flies can be a massive problem affecting indoor and outdoor pig units. Not only are they a nuisance that can lead to a reduction in feed intake, but they can…

HEALTH AND WELFARE

Coronavirus: Advice for vets and farmers

Vets and farmers have been included on the list of key workers, published by the government amid the coronavirus pandemic. This means farm animals are still able to receive care…

PIGS

4 tips to improve cleanliness and biosecurity on pig units

Cleaning and hygiene protocols help to keep out diseases and create a good impression for staff and visitors, according to pig vet Alex Thomsett from the George Veterinary Group. Whether…

HUSBANDRY

4 options for keeping piglets warm

Keeping piglets warm is critical to maintaining health and achieving early growth. But balancing the piglet’s ideal temperature of between 25-30C with the sow’s optimum temperature of 15-18C is difficult…

Insights

PIGS

Survey highlights pig health worry ahead of zinc oxide ban

Weaning can be a stressful time for piglets and, when not managed correctly, can predispose them to conditions such as post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD). Zinc oxide has traditionally been fed after…

PIGS

How realistic is free-farrowing for the UK pig industry?

A ban on using farrowing crates on UK pig farms has been called for by a number of non-government organisations in recent years. Although there are no imminent plans to…

LIVESTOCK DISEASES

African swine fever threat: What farmers need to know

African swine fever is the biggest threat to commercial pig production the industry has ever seen, according to the World Organization for Animal Health. The WHO predicts that the viral…

PIGS

How pig breeding tech could help cut disease-related costs

Breeding technologies which help pigs become genetically healthier and less susceptible to illness could help the UK pork sector reduce antibiotics use and save millions of pounds every year. Losses in…

HOUSING AND HANDLING

10 Danish loose farrowing pens compared

Ten European loose-housed farrowing pens are being assessed for pig, piglet and worker welfare in a world-leading product test. This follows industry targets for 10% of Danish sows to be…

LIVESTOCK

Antibiotics reports spark debate in farm industry

Campaigners pushing for a dramatic reduction in farm antibiotics use have set out a series of recommendations that they claim would reduce consumption in the dairy, pig and poultry sectors.…

PIGS

Alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters for pigs

Since the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) was banned in the EU in 2006, there’s been growing interest in alternatives that can reduce the impact of pig disease and…

Precision tech using sound to help monitor pig health

Dutch and Canadian technology could be key to managing UK pigs more effectively, including the use of sound to sense the early signs of disease. Technology that detects how pigs…

LIVESTOCK

Can piglets be kept safe without farrowing crates?

Can piglets be kept safe without farrowing crates? It is a question that gets many pig producers debating, but according to SAC's Emma Baxter the answer is yes. Speaking about…

LIVESTOCK

Emerging diseases: African Swine Fever

Memories of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001 will still remain firmly fixed in many farmers' minds, but with threats of new and emerging exotic diseases coming into the UK, it's vital…