Pigs don't see better with more light
Research has revealed that increasing light intensity
from 12 to 40 lux does not enhance the pigs' sight.
This conclusion was drawn by the Animal Sciences Group (ASG), a part of
Wageningen University and Research Centre in the
Pigs were tested for their sight by
giving them the choice between two feeders, the full one consistently marked
'C', the empty one consistently marked 'O'.
As soon as the animals
knew the meaning of these signs, the scientists used different sizes of letters
and different light intensities.
Letter size appeared to have a
strong effect, light intensity however did not play a role in the animal's
decisions. Only when light intensity dropped to less than 1 lux, the animals
started to make mistakes.
Pigs are known to be
predominantly shortsighted. For that reason their ears and nose are much more
important for pigs to find feed.
ASG did this study to find out
whether the increase from 12 to 40 lux, legally imposed in the Netherlands in
2003, was beneficial to the pigs' ability to perceive the world around
The 40 lux law is in accordance with EU
guidelines, stating that the pig barn should have 40 lux light for at least for
eight hours a day. Annually, the increase to 40 lux costs about €0.60 per pig
place for energy expenses.
The study was conducted at the request of
the Dutch product boards for livestock, meat and eggs
â€¢ Dutch product board for
livestock, meat and eggs (PVE)
â€¢ Animal Sciences Group (ASG)
â€¢ Wageningen University and Research Centre
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