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Gewählte Master / Diploma Thesis:

Cäcilia Wimmler (2018): Intensively kept and still high welfare? Evaluation of a new Austrian pig welfare initiative.
Master / Diploma Thesis - Institut für Nutztierwissenschaften (NUWI), BOKU-Universität für Bodenkultur, pp 74. UB BOKU obvsg FullText

Data Source: ZID Abstracts
In response to the increasing public debate about intensive husbandry conditions in conventional pig production, an animal welfare label for fattening pigs has been implemented by an Austrian slaughterhouse operator. The standards include increased space allowance, straw bedding, an outdoor run and the prohibition of tail docking. As such systems are not common in Austrian conventional pig farming, the aim of this study was to assess pig welfare of labelled farms (LAB) compared with non-labelled conventional farms (CON). Animal-based parameters for assessment on-farm and at slaughter were identified from the literature and further discussed in a workshop with farmers and experts. A total of 1784 pigs from 9 LAB- and 4 CON-farms were assessed during one-day farm visits. Additionally, 1561 pigs of 12 LAB- and 13 CON-farms were assessed at the slaughterhouse. LAB-pigs directed oral manipulation mainly towards straw and showed less tail biting behaviour than CON-pigs (median % of pens affected: LAB=10, CON=28). The prevalence of tail lesions was low in both farm categories (median % of pigs: LAB=1.6, CON=4.1). Increased amount of straw was associated with less swellings on the hind legs (r = -0.89). Furthermore, the lower proportion of LAB-pigs with meat pH < 6.0 indicates less pre-slaughter stress in LAB-pigs compared to CON (median % of pigs: LAB=6.1, CON=17.1). However, the high proportion of pigs with milk spots indicating endoparasites may represent a challenge especially in LAB-farms (median % of pigs: LAB=44.8, CON=26.3). The results show that the label standards acknowledge the pig’s ‘nature’ and improve animal welfare. They emphasise the importance of straw as bedding and enrichment material and support the feasibility to keep pigs with intact tails. Still, concerns of animal health should be considered and need special attention in such new systems.

Beurteilende(r): Winckler Christoph
1.Mitwirkender: Leeb Christine
2.Mitwirkender: Gutmann Anke

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