Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Day JEL;Kelly HRC;Martins A;Edwards SA;
Publication Date: January 1, 2003
Reference: , vol. 12: pp. 637-641.


A commonly used premise in the marketing of organic products is that the welfare of an animal is ensured through good management and only when these management techniques fail, are veterinary medicines used. However, the truthfulness behind this claim needs to yet be proven. Therefore an assessment of nine organic pig farms, primarily located in the South West of England, was conducted. The survey included direct assessments of the animals and the facilities, as well, questions were asked of the staff. The average herd size was approximately 210 sows and the herds had been in operation for an average of 3 years. From farrow to finish, offspring were raised outdoors. The highest ranking health concern according to the producers was mange and lice, while the highest-ranking historical report (based on post-mortem analysis) was endoparasitism. These were chosen from a list composed by the authors. The main welfare concerns according to the stockpeople were keeping the animals clean and dry during periods of moisture, managing porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (PDNS) and postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). Another concern expressed was the difficulty in finding and keeping good stockpeople. The assessment of the facilities found good overall living condition, with the only problem being the possibility of the paddocks being too wet during the winter. The assessment of the body condition of the sows was within acceptable target values during the entire production cycle (breeding, farrowing and weaning). For any stock classification the levels of lameness, skin lesions and cleanliness were also acceptable.

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