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Tail biting and aggression between finishing pigs are injurious behaviours affecting health, welfare and productivity. Solutions to these behavioural problems have been researched extensively and include tail docking, provision of environmental enrichment and increasing group stability. However, their effectiveness differs considerably between research labs and commercial practice, and between farms. It is obvious that farmers themselves play a key role in the effectiveness of these ‘standard recommendations’. Experimenting and sharing their experiences with scientists and advisors will help to progress existing knowledge into farm-specific tailor-made solutions.

To facilitate the exchange of ideas, and to monitor the effects of these solutions, it is important that there is a common definition and description of injurious behaviours. Therefore, together with pig farmers, PigWatch aims to develop and apply animal based measures to avoid the pain, frustration and negative emotional states associated with tail biting and aggression in finishing pigs. More…