Pork producers are committed to making sure their animals are treated humanely. Not only is that the right thing to do, but anything less would be self-defeating. Consumers also are concerned about the treatment of swine during production and desire accurate information on pork production. The Pork Checkoff understands producers’ and consumers’ interest in the important topic of animal welfare and strives to provide resources that help producers utilize the best, accepted swine care practices and help consumers recognize that pork producers are committed to responsible swine care.
The Pork Checkoff’s Animal Welfare Committee directs the organization’s efforts on this subject. The committee realizes that as the U.S. pork industry becomes a key player in domestic and foreign markets, the treatment of our swine may come under increased scrutiny by all our customers. The Pork Checkoff also works to monitor and correct misinformation from animal rights groups. The organization funds research and education in several priority areas, including further development of a method to assess the well-being of their animals on the farm, stress measurement, segregated early weaning, animal handling and transportation, sow housing, on-farm euthanasia, and animal space requirements.
The Pork Checkoff works to develop guidelines for producers to follow that will create a standard of excellence in care for the pork industry and encourages efforts to inform and educate the public about how they humanely raise swine. Follow these links for more details on commonly used swine care practices.
There are many different housing designs used in today’s U.S. pork industry that provide for the well-being of the gestating sow. These housing designs usually fit in one of two categories:
Each housing design has unique advantages and disadvantages for the well-being of the sow. There are many factors that contribute to the success of a particular type of housing system but none more so than the caretaker’s husbandry skills.
This handbook provides producers with scientifically based guidelines for maintaining and improving the welfare of their animals. Includes information about the pork producers code of practice, husbandry systems, management practices, environmental management, facilities and equipment, feeding and nutrition, and herd health management.
Because it is usually impossible or impractical for the veterinarian to be available for all euthanasia on-farm, producers themselves often need to perform humane euthanasia of pigs. On-Farm Euthanasia of Swine, Recommendations for the Producer, developed in cooperation with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, offers guidelines and considerations.
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This paper is a discussion of the role of ethics in animal agriculture. It discusses production trends and ways producers can respond to these changes and advancements.
The National Pork Board continues to support sound science as the only basis for animal welfare guideline decision-making. This fact sheet gives background information on evaluating animal welfare on the farm, and the National Pork Board’s position statement on animal welfare.
The neonatal stage of a piglet is a crucial time, and this fact sheet highlights some costs and benefits of neonatal processing practices. This is designed for discussion about the role of such practices in agriculture.