Denmark aims to boost pig industry earnings by implementing a range of measures that it hopes will enable an extra 500,000 piglets to survive annually.
The target has been set by the Danish Veterinary Association and pig producers that are members of the Seges Pig Research Centre. The campaign will start at the beginning of 2016 and was announced at Denmark’s Herning Congress, attended by 2,000 representatives of the pig industry last week.
Last year 78% of piglets were still alive at weaning. The new agreement seeks to push this level above the 80% previously set by industry.
With the close cooperation between producers and vets, measures proposed to increase piglet survival include:
- Improved supervision of sows during farrowing;
- Better monitoring of the timing and cause of piglet deaths;
- More advice from the vet on good obstetric practice;
- Ensuring appropriate management of the sow’s and piglets’ environment
“In the spring of 2014, the industry entered into an agreement with the then food minister and other stakeholders to increase the piglet survival rate,” said Claus Fertin, director of Seges Pig Research Centre.
“The new cooperation with veterinarians represents a continuation of work that is already underway. If anyone has an interest in ensuring improved survival, it’s the pig producers themselves. There are clear benefits here.
“There’s no doubt that the vast majority of pig producers are doing what they can to increase survival rates. But there’s still a need for concerted action, which is what this project is all about.”
Kristian Viekilde, chairman of the Danish Veterinary Association, commented: “Exciting advances are already being made through the PattesgriseLIV (Piglet Life) campaign to increase piglet survival, but not all farms are involved in this.
“In order to get the whole industry on board and to achieve our 2020 targets, we need a further initiative.”