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Guidelines to good welfare practices

This section discusses the important factors that are necessary to ensure good animal welfare on the farm. The guidelines are based upon the requirements of UK legislation and in many respects these give a lead to future developments across the world.

Different countries have different attitudes towards standards of welfare and the points raised here should be considered in relation to the accepted standards and legal requirements in your country. Guidelines to pig welfare in the UK are found in The Codes of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock, Pigs, published by the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, London. The statutory requirements are The Welfare of Livestock Regulations 1994.

The welfare codes state:

The basic requirements for the welfare of pigs are a husbandry system appropriate to health and as far as practicable the behavioural needs of the animals and a high standard of stockmanship.

Stockmanship is a key factor because no matter how otherwise acceptable a system may be in principle, without competent and diligent stockmanship the welfare of animals cannot be adequately cared for.