Significant improvements in pig welfare in Denmark have been made over the past year, the Danish Pig Research Centre (DPRC) reports.

A Pig Welfare Summit meeting was called by Dan Jørgensen, the Danish Minister of Food, Agriculture & Fisheries. Signatories to an agreement included representatives from DPRC, leading consumer and animal welfare organisations, the veterinary profession and Danish retailers.



The agreement included the setting of a number goals to ensure a continuing improvement in welfare standards on Danish pig farms. Among those were:

  1. Improvement of survival rates of piglets
  2. Finding alternatives to the castration of male piglets to avoid the risk of boar taint
  3. Reducing the occurrence of stomach ulcers
  4. Moving toward the loose-housing of sows throughout the whole production cycle
  5. Eliminating tail docking

“We are pleased to announce that our industry has already made significant progress in meeting the commitments we made at last year’s ‘Pig Welfare Summit,’” said Erik Larsen, chairman of the Danish Pig Research Centre. 

“We recently launched a new information campaign, called ‘Pattegriseliv’, to help ensure that our farmers implement best practice to enhance piglet survival rates and our pioneering work in developing new systems for ‘freedom farrowing’ has already attracted major interest internationally. Our research to find alternative strategies to limit the risk of ‘boar taint’ continues apace – including feed and breeding trials, as well as investigating new selection protocols on our slaughter lines. 

“We have also implemented a number of research projects which we hope will lead to new strategies for addressing the risk of outbreaks of tail-biting among our pigs.”