PigSAFE: Re-designing the farrowing environment from first principles to optimise animal welfare and economic performance
Research partners: Newcastle University, SAC
Industrial partners: AHDB Pork, QMS, RSPCA, Defra, Quality Equipment
Aims and objectives
- To review and synthesise current scientific knowledge on sow and piglet needs and practical experience of existing non-crate farrowing systems
- To use economic modelling approaches to characterise the best system prototype(s) based on this information
- To build and develop the prototype(s), testing structural and management innovations considered likely to improve their performance
- To scale up the final best system and test this under commercial conditions against conventional farrowing crates
- To carry out an economic, environmental and trade analysis of the new system based on commercial performance and costs.
- Results from this research can be found on the Newcastle University project page: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/afrd/research/project/4378
- Edwards, S.A., Brett, M., Ison, S., Jack, M., Seddon, Y.M. & Baxter, E.M. 2012. Design principles and practical evaluation of the PigSAFE free farrowing pen. In Proceedings of the 4th European Symposium on Porcine Health Management, Ghent, Belgium. p113.
- Recommended dimensions and details for building PigSAFE pens (November 2010)
- The PIGSafe Project: Developing an alternative to the farrowing crate Interim briefing note (February 2010)
- Baxter EM, Lawrence AB, Edwards SA. Alternative farrowing accommodation: welfare and economic aspects of existing farrowing and lactation systems for pigs.Animal 2012, 6(1), 96-117.
- Guy JH, Cain PJ, Seddon YM, Baxter EM, Edwards SA. Economic evaluation of high welfare indoor farrowing systems for pigs.Animal Welfare 2012, 21(s1), 19-24.
- Baxter EM, Lawrence AB, Edwards SA. Alternative farrowing systems: design criteria for farrowing systems based on the biological needs of sows and piglets.Animal 2011, 5(4), 580-600.