L’Efsa recommande notamment que les truies en gestation et allaitantes  soient élevées en groupe.

Pig welfare: EFSA delivers its first recommendations

Lhe European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) presented its first recommendations on the welfare of pigs in August, asking in particular for the abandonment of practices such as the use of farrowing crates, surgical castration without anesthesia , tail docking or early weaning.

For the different farming systems, the opinion describes a total of sixteen impacts on animal welfare, considered by Efsa experts to be highly relevant due to their severity, duration or frequency of impact. appearance. Among them: restriction of movement, stress due to the group, heat or cold, or prolonged hunger or thirst.

The opinion – 315 pages – proposes various measurable indicators for each of these parameters.

Minimum space

In particular, EFSA makes a number of recommendations on the rearing conditions for pregnant and lactating sows. These should rather be raised in groups. The results of the evaluation suggest that straw or hay are the most suitable materials for building nests.

The group of experts recommends a minimum space available for the lactating sow in order to guarantee the welfare of the piglets (measured by the mortality of piglets born alive). “It will take some time for staff and animals to adjust to housing lactating sows and their piglets in farrowing pens (rather than crates) before stable results in well-being”, underlines Efsa, however.

The Agency is also looking into the question of the risks of tail biting (in the absence of tail docking). Some of the main factors causing these problems include available space, flooring types, air quality, health status and diet composition.

Other species will follow

EFSA will launch a public consultation on this scientific opinion on September 26. This work is part of a series of advice on the welfare of specific species of animals (calves, laying hens, broilers, pigs, ducks, geese and quails, and dairy cows), which should be available by the end of September and will be used by the Commission to prepare legislative proposals, expected at the end of 2023, on improving animal welfare at all levels of the production chain (farm, transport and slaughter).

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