The translation of animal welfare research into practice: the case of mixing aggression between pigs

RSE Peden, SP Turner, LA Boyle, I Camerlink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Aggression between unfamiliar pigs at mixing is a major animal welfare problem in commercial farming. It has been studied since the 1970s and remains an important topic in animal welfare research. Methods to reduce pig aggression at mixing have been reviewed previously, but there has been little translation of the advocated techniques and building designs into practice. As a result, the problem persists on many commercial units. A similar situation exists for many other animal welfare issues. This article takes a new approach in not only reviewing the recent scientific literature, but also reviewing the evidence of uptake in industry. Firstly, the current state of aggression mitigation research is reviewed; including the most successful recent developments in breeding against aggression, early life socialisation, the use of pheromones and nutrition. Secondly, information is extracted from both peer reviewed and industry literature to establish the extent to which these strategies have been transferred from research to practice. Finally, we discuss why in spite of the amount of research on reducing aggression at mixing the problem has not reduced in intensive farming systems. The limited uptake in practice appears to be due to low prioritisation of the problem, the practicalities of implementation, lack of information on cost-effectiveness and ineffective communication of research to the farming community. To bridge this gap, industry must be involved in the design of practical solutions and the cost-effectiveness of these must be quantified. This approach should also be considered for other animal welfare issues under investigation. We recommend a better alignment between research questions and industry interests to increase the success of research efforts to improve animal welfare in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 9
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume204
Early online date10 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 10 Mar 2018

Fingerprint

animal welfare
translation (genetics)
aggression
swine
industry
cost effectiveness
farming systems
uptake mechanisms
intensive farming
prioritization
commercial farms
peers
communication (human)
pheromones
nutrition
breeding
methodology

Bibliographical note

1030700

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Animal welfare
  • Farmers
  • Industry
  • Pig
  • Sow

Cite this

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abstract = "Aggression between unfamiliar pigs at mixing is a major animal welfare problem in commercial farming. It has been studied since the 1970s and remains an important topic in animal welfare research. Methods to reduce pig aggression at mixing have been reviewed previously, but there has been little translation of the advocated techniques and building designs into practice. As a result, the problem persists on many commercial units. A similar situation exists for many other animal welfare issues. This article takes a new approach in not only reviewing the recent scientific literature, but also reviewing the evidence of uptake in industry. Firstly, the current state of aggression mitigation research is reviewed; including the most successful recent developments in breeding against aggression, early life socialisation, the use of pheromones and nutrition. Secondly, information is extracted from both peer reviewed and industry literature to establish the extent to which these strategies have been transferred from research to practice. Finally, we discuss why in spite of the amount of research on reducing aggression at mixing the problem has not reduced in intensive farming systems. The limited uptake in practice appears to be due to low prioritisation of the problem, the practicalities of implementation, lack of information on cost-effectiveness and ineffective communication of research to the farming community. To bridge this gap, industry must be involved in the design of practical solutions and the cost-effectiveness of these must be quantified. This approach should also be considered for other animal welfare issues under investigation. We recommend a better alignment between research questions and industry interests to increase the success of research efforts to improve animal welfare in practice.",
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The translation of animal welfare research into practice: the case of mixing aggression between pigs. / Peden, RSE; Turner, SP; Boyle, LA; Camerlink, I.

In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 204, 10.03.2018, p. 1 - 9.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - The translation of animal welfare research into practice: the case of mixing aggression between pigs

AU - Peden, RSE

AU - Turner, SP

AU - Boyle, LA

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