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

Section 2 - Specific recommendations

Pigs kept in outdoor husbandry systems

The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000 No. 1870), Schedule 1, paragraph 17 states that:

Animals not kept in buildings shall, where necessary and possible, be given protection from adverse weather conditions, predators and risks to their health and shall, at all times, have access to a well-drained lying area.

109. Sites for outdoor pig enterprises must be chosen carefully. Land prone to flooding, poorly drained sites, stony (especially flinty) soils and sites with heavy soils (especially in areas with high rainfall), are generally unsuitable for outdoor systems. Free-draining soils, in low rainfall areas, with low frost incidence are most suitable.
110. Field stocking densities must reflect the suitability of the site and the system of management. A guideline of 25 sows per hectare overall is reasonable for suitable sites. You may need to reduce stocking densities on less ideal sites or in extreme circumstances during periods of adverse weather. More information can be found in Defra's booklet, Site suitability for outdoor pig farming (see the Appendix).
111. Stock selected for outdoor production must be suitable for outdoor conditions. Most breeding companies provide lines that have been developed for outdoor use.
112. Your herd health and welfare plan should include a strategy for dealing with emergency situations such as, water provision in freezing conditions and feed provision to the site and to the paddocks in snow or severe wet weather.
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