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Katja Stoddart

Health & Welfare Manager

AHDB Pork KE

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Email Katja

T: work 024 7647 8796

M: cell 07875 306 905

Environment Enrichment

Home \ Health & Welfare \ Welfare \ Environment Enrichment

Pigs are naturally curious animals that, despite many years of genetic selection, are still motivated to explore their environment as they would in their natural woodland habitat.

Pigs explore by:

  • Rooting
  • Biting
  • Chewing 
  • Sniffing food and other items 

Hunger is not the only motivation for this behaviour; even ad libitum fed pigs perform exploratory activities. If there is nothing to explore in a pig pen, pigs often redirect their exploratory behaviour towards pen fixtures and pen mates, which can lead to tail and ear biting. 

It is a legal requirement (EU directive 2008/120/EC) for pig producers to provide pigs at all production stages, including sows, with permanent access to environmental enrichment materials in “a sufficient quantity… to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities”.