At least 500,000 more piglets should survive annually in the year 2020. That is the target that was set by the Danish Veterinary Association and the Danish pig producers, both members of the SEGES Pig Research Centre.
This new campaign was launched at the Herning Congress Centre this week, during the annual Danish Swine Congress (Svinekongres), held in Herning. The campaign is due to begin early 2016.
The topic of pre-weaning mortality traditionally is a big thing in Denmark. Since sows are very prolific, the natural amount of stillborn piglets is usually high as well. In 2014, a press release stated that 78% of all the country’s piglets were alive at weaning. The new agreement between vets and the industry raises that bar, as the target now exceeds the 80% goal already set by the industry. By the start of 2016, all involved will redouble their efforts to increase the survival rate of piglets on farms across Denmark.
Claus Fertin, director of SEGES Pig Research Centre, said: “In the spring of 2014, the industry entered into an agreement with the then Food Minister and other stakeholders to increase the piglet survival rate. The new co-operation with veterinarians represents a continuation of work that is already underway. If anyone has an interest in ensuring improved survival, then it’s the pig producers themselves. There are clear benefits here.”
The Danish Veterinary Association and the Pig Research Centre estimate that, as a result of the agreement, at least 500,000 extra pigs will survive every year.
The project will take as its starting point the partnership between vets and pig producers and will form part of the regular health advisory visit, with analysis, the setting of objectives and the drawing up of a plan. Tools included are improved supervision during farrowing, better monitoring of the timing and cause of piglet deaths, more advice on good obstetic practice and appropriate environment management. This will be complemented by a follow-up programme as well.