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

Section 1 - Health


30. Lameness in any animal is usually a sign that they are in pain. Lameness in pigs is a sign of ill health and discomfort. It clearly affects an animals welfare, as well as their performance and production. If a significant percentage of your pigs have severe lameness, this is a sign of disease or poor overall welfare standards within the herd. In these circumstances, you should seek urgent veterinary advice. You can find more information in Defra's booklet Lameness in pigs (see the Appendix).
31. If lame pigs do not respond to treatment, you need to call a veterinary surgeon immediately. Lameness can have a number of causes and early and accurate diagnosis of the specific type of lameness affecting the herd will enable you to take rapid and appropriate action.
32. If a lame animal does not respond to the veterinary surgeons treatment, you should have it culled rather than leave it to suffer. If you cannot transport lame animals without causing them more pain, you should slaughter them on the farm (see paragraphs 40 - 42). Also, you must not transport any pig off-farm that cannot stand up unaided or cannot bear their weight on all four legs when standing or walking.
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