1 Parasitology and Aquatic Diseases, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering3 Agricultural Research Council4 HBS, Produktions- og Sundhedsstyring i Besætninger5 University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences6 Section of Parasitology, Health and Development, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Københavns Universitet7 University of Kassel8 University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences9 Parasitology and Aquatic Diseases, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet10 Section of Parasitology, Health and Development, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Københavns Universitet11 University of Kassel
With the aim to identify European health and welfare strategies in organic pig production, we summarized information about health and welfare status and potential hazards for organic fattening pigs. The results were primarily based on studies of organic production or comparisons between organic and conventional production. Conventional Danish herds consumed three times as much antibiotics (anthelmintics not included) as the organic herds, whilst there was no difference in mortality rate nor more pigs in need of treatment in the organic herds. Slaughter data indicated that organic pigs had fewer respiratory problems, skin lesions (including abscesses and hernias) and tail wounds compared to conventional pigs. On the other hand, remarks because of joint lesions and white spot livers were more common among organic pigs. The risk of parasitic infections in organic fattening pigs has been confirmed. To control endoparasites, outdoor areas should be rotated with as long interval as possible, i.e. by including the pigs in the crop rotation. Outdoor housing with functional wallows and access to grass and roots or outdoor runs and roughage can enhance pig welfare and reduce pen-mate-directed oral activity and aggression. Minimizing negative environmental impact may conflict with animal welfare, i.e. raising the pigs indoors may not only reduce plant nutrient losses but also reduce the pigs’ activity options. With an increasing number of specialized organic units, implementation of age-segregated production and buying piglets from only one or few units is necessary to maintain a good health in transferred pigs.
Organic Agriculture, 2014, Vol 4, Issue 2, p. 135-147
The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences; Organic; Outdoor; Pig; Health; Welfare; Slaughter data