Attitudes of farmers and veterinarians towards pain and the use of pain relief in pigs

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A survey of UK-based pig farmers and veterinarians was conducted, in order to investigate attitudes to pain and the use of pain relief in pigs. Survey respondents were asked to indicate which antiinflammatory drugs they used or prescribed for pigs, how often these were administered, and the level of pain they associated with particular conditions. The survey found that veterinarians used a range of anti-inflammatory products to treat pigs with lameness. While both farmers and veterinarians gave similar pain scores overall, farmers rated gastrointestinal disease as more painful and conversely veterinarians scored lameness higher. Female and younger respondents gave higher pain scores than males and older respondents. Overall, farmers and veterinarians had a positive attitude towards pain relief in pigs with the majority agreeing that animals recovered more promptly when pain relief was administered. Most farmers agreed that the recognition and management of pain is an important part of pig husbandry, and many expressed an interest in finding out more about identifying pain in this species as well as the treatment options available. The study highlighted potential barriers to the increased application of pain relief in pigs in that almost one-third of veterinarians and two-thirds of farmers did not agree that they discussed pain management with each other, while other respondents indicated that they found it difficult to recognise pain in pigs, and did not know how to treat it appropriately. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622 - 627
Number of pages6
JournalThe Veterinary Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPrint publication - 2014

Bibliographical note



  • Farmer
  • Pain
  • Pig
  • Survey
  • Veterinarian


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