The international workshop Freedom in Farrowing and Lactation 2021 was held in August for sharing knowledge and experiences in order to overcome barriers for change to sow’s loose housing in farrowing and lactation.
The virtual workshop was attended by 50 scientists and industry personnel across Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America.
Transition to loose housing
At day 1 of the workshop, Sweden, Denmark and Germany represented three national situations. Sweden introduced loose housing of lactating sows through legislation long ago, whereas in Denmark recently loose housing is forced by industry initiatives and in Germany by new legislation. Day 1 ended with a short over-view of the current situation of change in participating countries.
At day 2 research updates were given by participants and generated important discussion on how to over-come barriers of change, which may for instance include a ‘check list’ for success. In addition, everyone agreed that management is equally or even more important than the chosen farrowing system, why possibilities for staff’s training and experience exchange is highly needed. Furthermore, society’s as well as consumers’ acceptance are needed and a good co-development of the market (retailers, food processors) can help to facilitate transition process.
Workshop organisation and follow up
The virtual workshop is part of a series of Free farrowing workshops and was organized by Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (Germany), Scotland's Rural College (United Kingdom), Vetmeduni Vienna (Austria), and SEGES Danish Pig Research Centre (Denmark).
A follow-up workshop is planned on 24th Nov 2021 and is focusing on industry-related aspects regarding freedom in farrowing and lactation.
Introphoto: Sow piglet staff (©SEGES Danish Pig Research Centre)