Pigs (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock: Pigs (PB7950)

Section 1 - Recommendations for all pigs


Transport off- farm

The Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997 (S.I. 1997 No. 1480) Schedule 2, Part II, paragraph 15, states that:
  1. Animals shall not be suspended by mechanical means, nor lifted or dragged by the head, horns, legs or tail.
  2. No person shall use excessive force to control animals.
  3. No person shall use: (a) any instrument which is capable of inflicting an electric shock to control any animal; (b) any stick (other than a flat slap stick or a slap marker) non-electric goad or other instrument or thing to hit or prod any pigs.
  4. The prohibition in paragraph (a) above shall not apply to the use of any instrument on the hindquarters of adult pigs which are refusing to move forward when there is space for them to do so, but the use of any such instrument shall be avoided as far as possible.
  5. Nothing in this provision shall prevent the suspension by mechanical means of a receptacle in which an animal is being carried.
The Welfare of Animals (Transport) Order 1997 (S.I. 1997 No. 1480) Schedule 2, paragraph 10 states that:
  • Animals shall be loaded and unloaded in accordance with this paragraph.
  • Save as provided in sub-paragraphs (6) and (7) below they shall be loaded and unloaded using suitable ramps, bridges, gangways or mechanical lifting gear, operated so as to prevent injury or unnecessary suffering to any animal.
  • The flooring of any loading equipment shall be constructed so as to prevent slipping.
  • Subject to sub-paragraph (6) below, ramps, bridges, gangways and loading platforms shall be provided on each side with protection which is -
  1. of sufficient strength, length and height to prevent any animal using the loading equipment from falling or escaping; and
  2. positioned so that it will not result in injury or unnecessary suffering to any animal.

(6) An animal may be loaded or unloaded by means of manual lifting or carrying if the animal is of a size that it can be easily lifted by not more than two persons and the operation is carried out without causing injury or unnecessary suffering to the animal.

(7) An animal may be loaded or unloaded without equipment or by manual lifting or carrying provided that, having regard to the age, height and species of the animal, it is unlikely to be caused injury or unnecessary suffering by being loaded or unloaded in this manner.

17. You should have the facilities on-farm to load and unload pigs onto and from a vehicle, with as little stress as possible. Stock-keepers should know how to handle animals during loading and unloading, including when and how to use pig boards to guide the animal.
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