Pigs are very interesting animals and they are very intelligent. They are known to be very curious and have behaviors patterns that have been studied by many behavior analysts. If pigs are to be reared for meat then the correct environment and conditions must be provided. Therefore it is important that the main three components of animal welfare is met which are natural, mental and physical welfare.
The European pig warm welfare legislation has been enforced to ensure that the standard of the well being of pigs are met. There are a few factors that are considered very carefully:
- There must be adequate space of the pig to move around freely.
- The pen floor should be covered with fresh material that the animal can digest it easily. The pen area should be covered with a safe material that does not hurt the animal either.
- Floors should not be slatted.
- Tails should not be docked and clipping of the tooth are prohibited as well unless necessary of pigs.
- Castration without pain relief is strictly prohibited.
There should be separate dunging and lying areas. This is needed to ensure that excellent hygiene is maintained and that there is less risk of developing a disease. The adequate space should be very comfortable and thermoregulation. This is done by lying down laterally and by not touching with other pigs. Standing, lying in many positions, moving around should be possible around in the pen, which will help avoid aggression developing.
The flooring is very important which will help avoid any stomach ulcers and injuries. Some pigs have foot injuries but the foot will heal soon if there is enough straw laid out on the floor. The enrichment should be a thick later, which will also act as bedding.
Clipping and docking
When it is regarding piglets, the teeth are usually clipped right after they are born. This is to ensure that when piglets are fighting with each other, which might cause injuries to the mother. This can be harmful because when the mother is in poor conditions, the sow will not be able to produce milk.
To avoid the boar taint, male piglets are being castrated without any pain relief. This is very painful to the young one and is a major concern that has grown. Castration is conducted to ensure that the pig meat is ready to be consumed, there will not be any boar taint, which is caused, by the androstenone and testosterone.
Although pork meat is one of the best meats around, pigs undergo a lot of rearing in order to be suitable for consumption.