How to achieve high sow welfare and low emissions

Source: Vivi Aarestrup Moustsen, Pig Progress, 15 June 2020, photo credit: National Hog Farmer

Achieving both high sow welfare and low emissions at the same time, is that possible? Danish researchers have recently embarked on a project to investigate how to answer that question. Housing and welfare expert Vivi Aarestrup Moustsen explains.

How to achieve high sow welfare and low emissions? It is not an easy task, but that does not mean we should not address it. In future farrowing pens, sows are to be housed loose. That is natural, the sow welfare is better and the piglets have unobstructed access to the udder, so they can drink and grow more.

So it is sow welfare to let them loose – but it includes the risk of them dunging and urinating ‘everywhere’, which leads to increased emissions, either because we ‘solve’ the dunging behaviour by using fully slatted floors or because a solid floor becomes dirty.
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.