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Farm Animal Practice
Impact of flooring on the health and welfare of pigs
  1. Amy KilBride

    Amy KilBride is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Warwick.

    ,
  2. Claire Gillman

    Claire Gillman holds an MSc in applied animal behaviour and animal welfare.

    ,
  3. Pete Ossent

    Pete Ossent is a lecturer at the Institute for Veterinary Pathology in Zurich.

    and
  4. Laura Green

    Laura Green is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Warwick.

Abstract

HOUSING for pigs reared for meat has been revolutionised over the past 50 years, and modifications in flooring have been a key component of this change. While the introduction of slatted floors that do not require manual removal of soiled bedding and dung has reduced labour requirements and production costs, solid floors are still in use on some commercial farms in Britain, particularly in older or converted buildings, and are more common in Britain than in other European pig-producing countries. Floors in pig housing can impact on the health and welfare of pigs by affecting an animal's opportunity to engage in normal behaviour and increasing the risk of infectious disease and physical damage due to contact with the floor. This article highlights the impact of floor types on the prevalence of foot, limb and body lesions, and lameness in pigs, and provides typical examples of the pathology of some lesions.

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