Category Archives: Meeting

Training veterinarians and agricultural advisers on a novel tool for tail biting prevention

Training veterinarians and agricultural advisers on a novel tool for tail biting prevention
By A. L. vom Brocke, D. P. Madey, M. Gauly, L. Schrader and S. Dippel (Vet Rec Open 2015).

Abstract

Introduction Many health and welfare problems in modern livestock production are multifactorial problems which require innovative solutions, such as novel risk assessment and management tools. However, the best way to distribute such novel – and usually complex – tools to the key applicants still has to be discussed.
Materials and methods This paper shares experiences from distributing a novel tail biting prevention tool (‘SchwIP’) to 115 farm advisers and 19 veterinarians in 23 one-day workshops. Participants gave written and oral feedback at the end of the workshops, which was later analysed together with the number of farms they had visited after the workshops. Workshop groups were categorised into groups showing (a) HIGH, (b) INTermediate or (c) LOW levels of antagonism against SchwIP or parts of it during workshop discussions.
Results Group types did not significantly differ in their evaluation of knowledge transfer. However, HIGH group members evaluated the on-farm usability of the tool significantly lower in the workshop feedback and tended to visit fewer farms.
Conclusions As antagonistic discussion can influence workshop output, future workshop leaders should strive for basic communication training as well as some group leadership experience before setting up and leading workshops.

6th FareWellDock meeting

March 16 the FareWellDock team had another videoconference meeting. Partners from FI (3), UK (4), DK (4), SE (1), FR (1) and NL (1) presented and discussed progress in the various project’s workpackages.

This will be the final year of the project. One of the joint activities is to produce factsheets on the FareWellDock project as a whole, aspects related to tail docking and tail length, the relationship between tail biting and health, enrichment, and the prediction of tail biting outbreaks.

Further meeting scheduled for this year include a meeting associated with this year’s ISAE meeting in Edinburgh, a physical meeting in Denmark and meeting with stakeholders.

Other points of interest:

There was an FVO visit to Finland on banning tail docking, where Anna gave a presentation.

There is a new COST action, GroupHouseNet, on tail biting and feather pecking.

There is a new ANIHWA project PigWatch (Hans Spoolder) “Combining the ‘eye of the stockman’ and precision farming techniques to improve pig welfare”.

The EC had a recent meeting on tail biting, docking and enrichment for pigs.

Several of the FareWellDock partners are involved in the writing of chapters of a new book on pig welfare.

A lot is happening this year ….

6the FareWellDock meeting March 16
6the FareWellDock meeting March 16

Histological and neurophysiological pain assessment in young pigs

Original title: Approche histologique et neurophysiologie de la douleur liée à la coupe de queue chez les porcelets

Presentation of Dr. Dale Sandercock (SRUC) at a seminar on histological and neurophysiological approaches to pain assessment in young pigs. INRA-PEGASE, St-Gilles, France, December 14th 2015

Abstract

Concerns exist over the long term consequences of tail docking on possible tail stump pain sensitivity due to the development of traumatic neuromas in injured peripheral nerves. Traumatic neuroma formation may cause detrimental sensory changes in the tail due to altered peripheral and spinal neuronal excitability leading to abnormal sensation or pain. We have investigated tail injury and traumatic neuroma development by histopathological assessment after tail docking and measured the expression of key neuropeptides associated with peripheral nerve regeneration, inflammation and chronic pain. In complimentary studies on tail docking and tail biting, we have developed behavioural assessment approaches to measure mechanical nociceptive thresholds (MNT) in the pig tail in purpose built test set-up using a Pressure Application Measurement (PAM) device. Using these approaches we have determined baseline MNT in intact tails along different regions of the tail and also measured changes in MNT over time in pig with resected tails (simulation of the effect of tail biting). An overview of other Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) pig health and welfare research projects is also presented.

Presentation Pic INRA seminar on pain (D Sandercock, 2015))

News from The Netherlands (and Germany)

This first week of February 2016 two items related to tail biting appeared in farmers’ press in The Netherlands. In addition, we recently provided input into a European project on the welfare of poultry, which will be reported on briefly below.

One news item announced that farmers are invited at the Intensive Farming Fair in Venray (LIV Venray), March 1-3 2016. At the fair two finished tail-biting projects will be presented and discussed with entrepreneurs who are active in intensive farming. One of the projects is ‘Keeping pigs with intact tails’.

The other item was a report on the German tail biting (Ringelschwanz-)project. First results of the curly-tail project in North-Rhine Westphalia showed that more than one quarter of piglets at 15 participating research farms had damaged tails before the end of the rearing period. At some farms half of the tails had been bitten. At the 15 farms participating in the study 30-94 piglets had been reared on each farm without tail docking. Outbreaks of tail biting appeared to be associated with streptococcus infections. Prevention and intervention strategies included providing dried maize silage or alfalfa hay twice daily and the isolation of biters respectively. Most tail biting occurred between week 2 and 4 after weaning. This level of tail biting is not so good news. If these levels of tail biting would persist, it may indicate that intensive systems cannot be made compatible with acceptable levels of animal welfare. Fortunately, however, experiences in Finland indicate that it should be possible to keep undocked pigs in conventional systems at much lower levels of tail biting (around 2% based on slaughter house data).

The German farmers union and North-Rhine Westphalia have agreed 1.5 years ago that they intend to stop tail docking by 2017. This will be done provided on-farm research shows that tail biting among pigs with intact tails does not reduce animal welfare. The general expectation is that the objective of safely quitting tail docking cannot be met.

From a Dutch research perspective two notes appear to be relevant:

The first is that our semantic-modelling approach provides a unique methodology to determine/assess  the cut-off point between the welfare impacts of tail biting and tail docking using formalised biological reasoning and scientific evidence. In this computation one must take into account all relevant aspects: So, not only the point that the welfare of tail bitten pigs is reduced due to blunt trauma (biting) compared to the sharp trauma of tail docking at an earlier age. But also the point must be recognised that the welfare of tail biting pigs may relatively be improved when they can bite their penmates’ tails, compared to when they cannot (other things being equal, i.e. lack of suitable enrichment). What matters for welfare as considered from the animals’ point of view is the extent to which they can satisfy their needs, e.g. for biting and the expression of species-specific foraging behaviour, taking into account also the activation of coping mechanisms such as redirected and harmful-social behaviours.

The second thing to note about the results of the German research project is the following. In addition to taking note of the bad news (many bitten tails, which has to be taken seriously, perhaps even to the point that the conclusion must be drawn that intensive systems are not compatible with acceptable animal welfare), one may also try to move forwards for the time being by focussing on the good news: Two out of the 15 pilot farms in Germany managed to keep all piglets’ tails intact. Other farms may learn from what was done on these farms to keep tails intact. Furthermore, since the EC Directive requires that all farms try to periodically keep at least some intact pigs, a 10% success rate could provide sufficient scope for progress at the population level, even when the causes of the success are poorly understood. This can be concluded from a methodology we designed previously to solve complex welfare problems like feather pecking in poultry and tail biting in pigs. This methodology has been called ‘Intelligent Natural Design’ (INO in Dutch; see also Bracke, 2010). It basically uses evolution to select the best farms to make increasing progress towards the objective of completely stopping the practice of routine tail docking in pig farming.

Countering the routine practices of tail docking and beak trimming, as well as preventing and treating outbreaks of tail biting and feather pecking requires an understanding of tipping points. Recently, we modified our tipping-bucket model for tail biting for inclusion on the Henhub website. This website, which is part of the Hennovation project, gives information about welfare issues in poultry, esp. (at present) feather pecking. On that site the modified tipping-bucket model can be found under the post describing the mechanism of feather pecking.

Tipping-bucket model of tail biting in pigs
Tipping-bucket model of tail biting in pigs

.
Bracke, M.B.M. 2010. Towards long(er) pig tails: New strategy to solve animal welfare problems. In: Lidfors, L., Blokhuis, H., Keeling, L., Proceedings of the 44th Congress of the ISAE, August 4-7 2010, Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, p. 135. (Poster, ISAE 2010, Uppsala, Sweden, Aug 4-7.

Synergy for preventing damaging behaviour in group housed pigs and chickens (GroupHouseNet)

CA COST Action CA15134

Description are provided by the Actions directly via e-COST.

The GroupHouseNet aim is to provide the European livestock industry with innovations in breeding and management for pigs and poultry that are needed for a successful transition to large group housing systems without necessitating painful tail docking and beak trimming. Allowing the animals greater opportunities to display their species-specific behaviour while avoiding the routine use of painful procedures, group housing of unmutilated animals sits at the core of the new animal welfare paradigm driven by consumer demand. Group housing is associated with increased risks of damaging behaviours among the animals, such as feather pecking, aggression and cannibalism in laying hens and tail biting, bellynosing, excessive aggression and cannibalism in pigs. Recent research suggests the key to reducing the incidence of these behaviours lies in refining and applying methods of genetic selection, and developing husbandry innovations that improve early and later life conditions – which is exactly what GroupHouseNet will use the COST Action framework and tools to do. GroupHouseNet brings together researchers and industrial partners dealing with animal breeding and genetics, animal nutrition, epidemiology, engineering, animal behaviour and welfare, epigenetics, immunology, (neuro)physiology, economics and ethics. To strengthen the scientific and technological basis in these areas the Action will facilitate knowledge sharing, creation and application in pigs and laying hens in both experimental and commercial environments. The activities will be conducted in an open, output-oriented transnational, multisectorial, and multidisciplinary research and development network emphasising COST Excellence and Inclusiveness Policy.

Proposer of the action: Prof Andrew Janczak
(action arising in part from the FareWellDock project).
 

5th FareWellDock meeting

Today, Oct 7 2015, FareWellDock is having its 5th (3rd videoconference) meeting to discuss project progress.

As far as communication is concerned we are doing fine. We now have about 5 scientific papers, 16 conference contributions, 6 farm magazine articles, 1 training, 6 internet contributions (besides the FareWellDock website) and 1 radio performance (see project overview). In addition, the FareWellDock website lists 37 posts. Twelve of these are new since our last meeting in Paris. Also, most partners are present on our partner page.

At the meeting we discuss the report and factsheet for end-users on how to deal with tail biting and tail docking. As part of that discussion we also talk briefly about the HENNOVATION project. In that project a webtool is being developed providing extension information about welfare problems like featherpecking, in a structured and flexible way. It includes the possibility to set up a forum for end-users to discuss innovations, and wiki pages to aggregate collective knowledge (see the Beta version). This is not feasible within the FareWellDock project, but it is good to learn about cross-disciplinary activities.

Videoconference meeting

Videoconference meeting Oct 7, 2015

Soundbites Pig Welfare Conference: 1. Introduction

On 29 – 30 April 2015 Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dan Jørgensen hosted an international conference “Improving Pig Welfare – what are the ways forward?“.

During the two-day conference, top academics, experts and political stakeholders from around the world debated and worked to prepare the way forward in improving pig welfare in Europe and ultimately in the world. Ministers from the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden participated.

Below you find ‘soundbites’ from the conference, all more or less related to the subjects of study in the FareWellDock project. This is part 1. Parts 2-5 are other blog posts on this website.

It is truly remarkable that we have been able to gather almost four hundred participants to discuss the ways forward for pig welfare; some are joining us from as far away as the state of Iowa, USA, and Australia
Dan Jørgensen, Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries

fwd PWConf DK Minists IMG_1817c
Left to right: Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, DK. Sharon Dijksma, Minister for Agriculture, NL. Sven-Erik Bucht, Minister for Rural Affairs, SE. Christian Schmidt, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, DE.

At the conference a position paper was signed by
Christian Schmidt, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, DE
Sven-Erik Bucht, Minister for Rural Affairs, SE
Dan Jørgensen, Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, DK
Sharon Dijksma, Minister for Agriculture, NL

The position paper, final version(PDF)

Video of signing

Dan Jørgensen
Dan Jørgensen, Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries

Soundbites Pig Welfare Conference: 2. Presentations

On 29 – 30 April 2015 Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Dan Jørgensen hosted an international conference “Improving Pig Welfare – what are the ways forward?“.

During the two-day conference, top academics, experts and political stakeholders from around the world debated and worked to prepare the way forward in improving pig welfare in Europe and ultimately in the world.

Below you find ‘soundbites’ from conference presentations, all more or less related to the subjects of study in the FareWellDock project.

The Welfare Challenges Facing The Pig Sector
Peter Stevenson, Chief Policy Advisor of Compassion in World Farming, UK
Interview (video):
We have created a society where farmers’ margins are so low that they often have no choice but to have very low welfare (P. Stevenson)
We need to find a way in which we can make moving to higher welfare economically viable (P. Stevenson)
Presentation:
The EU should protect farmers from low welfare imports (P. Stevenson)
Most pigs in EU are given no enrichment or ineffective objects such as chains. … Plastic chewing sticks & balls are not effective enrichment (P. Stevenson)
An intact curly tail may well be the single most important animal-based welfare indicator in finishing pigs (EFSA update 2011, cited by P. Stevenson).
The average benefit of raising uncastrated pigs is around €5 per pig due to better feed conversion (EC, 2013, cited by P. Stevenson)
Consumers can drive animal welfare improvements – Don’t keep them in the dark (P. Stevenson).

Could Animal Production Become a Profession?
David Fraser, Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada
Interview (video):
Could pig producers function more like professionals and less like an industry? Professionals set their own standards. (D. Fraser)
Presentation:
The best common people are the agricultural population, so that it is possible to introduce democracy as well as other forms of constitution where the multitide lives by agriculture or by pasturing cattle. Aristotle, “Politics” (cited by D. Fraser).
In the past half century, animal agriculture in the U.S. has been taken over by corporations, turning family farms into factory farms (Farm Sanctuary, 2009, cited by D. Fraser).
Farm animal health levels: Piglet deaths: 0-50%; bursitis: 0-83%; sow mortality: 0-20%; dairy cow lameness 0-85%; broiler lameness: 0-90% (D. Fraser).
Animal welfare reforms have been modeled on worker welfare legislation that regulated the physical environment and exposure time in factories (D. Fraser).
Shifting animal production toward a professional model is a more promising approach to improving animal welfare and maintaining public trust in animal producers (D. Fraser).

Assessment and Alleviation of Pain in Pig Production
Sandra Edwards, Professor, Newcastle University, UK

Sandra Edwards
Sandra Edwards, Professor, Newcastle University, UK

Interview (video):
We need a very strong ethical justification for continuing farm-management procedures which are painful to animals, and look very actively for ways to reduce their necessity (S. Edwards)
Presentation:
Is castration necessary? Not all countries now think so (Backus et al., 2014), but sometimes it may be (S. Edwards)
What links castration, tail docking and gastric ulcers in pigs? Pain (S. Edwards)
Tail docking: Historically (and often currently): A surgical procedure carried out on young piglets with no pain relief (S. Edwards)
Does Tail docking Cause Pain? Many farmers believe not (or only insignificant) (S. Edwards)
30% of finishing pigs and 50% of culled sows have gastric sulcers (score >6). Gastric ulcers are acutely painful in humans. (S. Edwards)
Conclusion: The occurrence of pain compromises animal welfare
– It must be actively addressed.
– “Suppress, Substitute, Soothe”
(S. Edwards)
A reliable method for on-farm pain assessment is needed (S. Edwards)

Neonatal Piglet Mortality in Relation to Sow Farrowing Environment
Lene Juul Pedersen, Senior Researcher, Aarhus University, DK

Lene Juul Pedersen
Lene Juul Pedersen, Senior Researcher, Aarhus University, DK

Interview (video):
Genetic selection for increased littersize in Danish pig production has resulted in problems with piglet mortality that need to be solved, either by changing the breeding goal (to heavier piglets) and/or intensified piglet care (L.J. Pedersen).

Increased piglet mortality is not an innate problem of farrowing pens where sows can freely more around (L.J. Pedersen).
Presentation:
Piglets are born in a thermally insufficient environment (L.J. Pedersen).

Animal welfare in organic pig production
Jan Tind Sørensen, Professor, Aarhus University, DK
Interview (video):
Organic pig production does well on naturalness, welfare perception and low antibiotics use, but needs to solve problems with piglet mortality, endoparasites and castration (J.T. Sørensen).
Scientists cannot solve animal welfare. Politicians either. We need to collaborate to improve pig welfare (J.T. Sørensen).
Presentation:
Lameness prevalense in organic sow herds is higher during summer (Knage-Rasmussen et al 2014, cited by J.T. Sørensen).
High piglet mortality in organic pig production (Sørensen & Pedersen 2013, cited by J.T. Sørensen)
Organic pigs may be more resistant to Salmonella infections
(Bonde & Sørensen 2012, cited by J.T. Sørensen)

The Intelligent Pig Barn
Anders Ringgaard Kristensen, Professor, University of Copenhagen, DK
Interview (video):
Sensor technology is one of the ways forward in pig production (A.R. Kirstensen)
Presentation:
The intelligent pig barn – PigIT – Welfare problems considered: diarrhea, fouling and tail biting (A.R. Kirstensen).

The Danish Pig Welfare Action Plan
Per Henriksen, CVO, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, DK

The use of animal welfare indicators
Jeremy Marchant-Forde, Research Animal Scientist, USDA-ARS, USA
Interview (video):
Scientists in the EU interact more with policymakers, while the US has closer links with producers (J. Marchant-Forde)
Presentation:
From 2005 to 2050 the global demand for meat will raise: poultry from 82 to 181M tonnes, beef from 64 to 106M, and pork from 100M to 143M tonnes (43%) (J. Marchant-Forde).

The Danish Animal Welfare Index Project
Björn Forkman, Professor, University of Copenhagen, DK
Interview (video):
The Danish Animal Welfare Index is animal-based, compares welfare across years and is based on a definition of welfare in terms of feelings (B. Forkman)
The Danish pig welfare conference showed an astonishing interest in pig welfare (B. Forkman).
Presentation:
“Happy pigs are dirty” (B. Forkman)

Ethical Meat Production & Consumer Response
Athanasios Krystallis Krontalis, Professor, Aarhus University, DK
Interview (video):
What people believe, sometimes is irrevant to the way they behave (A.K. Krontalis)

The social desirability effect implies that we tend to stay on the safe side, hiding what we really believe about something and simply reproducing stereotypes. So people have difficulty saying I don’t care about animal welfare (A.K. Krontalis).
It will take a lot of effort to reveal the real opinions of people generally [regarding animal welfare] (A.K. Krontalis).
Presentation:
29.149 food products launched with the claim “ethical” on their description (top-10 categories, all European countries) (Mintel Gnpd, Apr. 2013 cited by A.K. Krontalis).
Around 4,000 new food product launches with the term “Animal welfare” in their description. Mintel Gnpd, Apr. 2013 (cited by A.K. Krontalis).
People with weak attitudes to pig production eat somewhat more pork (A.K. Krontalis).
Not eating pork at all is not related to being critical to pork production (A.K. Krontalis).
consumers seek more information about production methods to make informed choices (Harper & Henson, 2001, cited by A.K. Krontalis)
In a EU survey (2005) consumers stated they are very rarely or never able to identify meat products from sustainable production methods (cited by A.K. Krontalis)
Ethical meat can be achieved by:
* Optimization of current production (consumer-driven)
and/or
* Development of new (technology-driven) production (i.e. in-vitro or insect-based), with questionable social acceptance potential (A.K. Krontalis).

Good welfare is good business
Jeremy Cooper, CEO, Freedom Food and Kate Parkes, Senior Scientific Officer, RSPCA, UK
Good welfare is good business (J. Cooper, CEO Freedom Food)
Freedom Food: > 3.5k members, 1 billion terrestrial farm animals, > 2k labelled products, almost 1/3 of UK pigs, 50% of UK eggs, > 70% of Scottish salmon (J. Cooper)

The effects of stockperson education and training on farm animal welfare
Paul Hemsworth, Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia
Attitudes tend to direct our behaviour or, at least, our intended behaviour (P. Hemsworth).
The best way to predict how stockpeople will interact with their animals is by knowing what their attitude is toward the activity itself (P. Hemsworth).
To target ‘stockmanship’ both technical and behavioural training of stockpeople are necessary! (P. Hemsworth).

PIGWELFIND

My name is Grace Carroll and I am a PhD student studying at Queens University Belfast.

Grace Carroll
Grace Carroll

The project I am working on, PIGWELFIND, is a collaborative all-Ireland project with researchers in Teagasc, University College Dublin and Queens University Belfast. The aim of PIGWELFIND is to explore the potential of measures taken at meat inspection for use as an animal welfare diagnostic tool.
The positive association between animal welfare and productivity levels is being increasingly realised. Tail lesions for example have been found to be associated with reduced growth (Marques et al., 2012) and the spread of infection which can lead to secondary abscessation and carcass condemnation (Huey, 1996). Harley et al. (2012) found direct producer losses of €0.37 per pig slaughtered as a result of carcass condemnation. When indirect losses (e.g. reduced growth potential, medicines, processing of condemned meat) are considered, the financial implications are even greater (Harley et al., 2012). Welfare-related meat inspection information could be fed back to producers, informing herd health plans and providing an opportunity to improve animal welfare while simultaneously increasing productivity levels.
The main aim of my research is to determine whether the lifetime welfare of pigs is reflected in measures taken from the carcass. To do this, I assessed the welfare of several batches of pigs from 7 weeks of age to the week prior to slaughter. I then compared the carcasses of pigs with welfare issues in early life, later life and whole life, to the carcasses of those that showed no evidence of poor welfare on farm.

Carcass tail
Carcass tail

Initial results indicate that evidence of tail lesions and skin lesions acquired in both early and later life remain evident on the carcass in the form of visible tail lesions, short tails (in relation to original docked length) and healed (non-red) skin lesions. Fresh skin lesions were not associated with skin lesions acquired on farm, suggesting that these may reflect damage that occurred during loading, transportation or lairage.

As the concept of conducting welfare assessments on the carcass is relatively new, we also wanted to determine the effect that routine slaughter processes, such as scalding and dehairing, would have on the visibility of welfare-related carcass damage. Carcasses were scored for tail lesions, skin lesions and loin bruising immediately after exsanguination and again subsequent to scalding and dehairing. The findings from this study indicate that the visibility of tail lesions, loin bruising and severe skin lesions was significantly improved by these processes, suggesting that abattoir-based welfare assessments should be carried out after scalding and dehairing of the carcass.

Carcss loin
Carcass loin

Together, these findings strengthen the argument for the integration of welfare-specific measures into routine meat inspection processes.
For more information, see our poster at the International Pig Welfare Conference in Denmark. For any questions about our research you can contact me at gcarroll05 @ qub . ac . uk. This research is funded by the Research Stimulus Fund of the Irish Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine.

References
Harley, S., More, S. J., O’Connell, N. E., Hanlon, A., Teixeira, D. & Boyle, L. 2012. Evaluating the prevalence of tail biting and carcase condemnations in slaughter pigs in the Republic and Northern Ireland, and the potential of abattoir meat inspection as a welfare surveillance tool. Veterinary Record, 171, 621-+.
Huey, R. 1996. Incidence, location and interrelationships between the sites of abscesses recorded in pigs at a bacon factory in Northern Ireland. Veterinary Record, 138, 511-514.
Marques, B. M. F. P. P., Bernardi, M. L., Coelho, C. F., Almeida, M., Morales, O. E., Mores, T. J., Borowski, S. M. & Barcellos, D. E. S. N. 2012. Influence of tail biting on weight gain, lesions and condemnations at slaughter of finishing pigs. Pesquisa Veterinaria Brasileira, 32, 967-974.

 

Soundbites Pig Welfare Conference: 3. Workshop

On 29 – 30 April 2015 Denmark hosted an international conference “Improving Pig Welfare – what are the ways forward?“.

During the two-day conference, top academics, experts and political stakeholders from around the world debated and worked to prepare the way forward in improving pig welfare in Europe and ultimately in the world. Ministers from the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden participated.

Below you find ‘soundbites’ from conference workshops, all more or less related to the subjects of study in the FareWellDock project.

Workshop 3: Tail docking of piglets

The workshop on tail docking of piglets at the Pig Welfare Conference in DK had a very interesting poll showing that 95 % of the participants believe that it is realistic to stop tail docking either immediately or within a 10 years period.

Suggested solutions and ways forward for pig welfare (from Workshop 3): Stopping tail docking immediately …and encouraging the farmer to think “out of the box”; sharing information regarding manipulative material.

Workshop presentations:

Torben Jensen, Chief Manager, SEGES, Danish Pig Research Centre:
Intact Tails – A Challenge!
To dock or not to dock – what is in the producer’s best interest? (T. Jensen)
THE UNDERLYING PROCESSES OF TAIL BITING: foraging activity and tail damage are central (T. Jensen, Slide 3)
ENRICHMENT materials’ relative effect at reducing tail biting (D’Eath et al. 2014): 500gr compost/d is better than 500gr straw, but the latter may be equivalent to 12.5-20gr/p/d (T. Jensen, Slide 4)
Standard Undocked may pay off for some farmers but it is a more risky choice and has inferior welfare to Standard Docked (T. Jensen)
Cessation of tail docking increases the incidence of tail biting even in well-managed herds (T. Jensen)
Tail lesions are more frequent in organic and free range production than in conventional production (T. Jensen)
By tail docking producers are acting in their own best interest (T. Jensen)
To compare welfare consequences of no docking at a farm level the number of tail bitten pigs must be considered (T. Jensen).

Workshop 5: Market driven animal welfare. The role for retailers and consumers

Hans Spoolder, Professor, Wageningen University:
EconWelfare: Upgrading Animal Welfare Standards Across Europe
We need transparent animal welfare labeling schemes (H. Spoolder)
EU wide legislation is important to set the lower boundaries for farm animal welfare, and it needs to be enforced (H. Spoolder).
The overall goal of animal welfare policy should be the same everywhere in the EU (H. Spoolder).