Risk factors for tail lesions in undocked fattening pigs reared on Swiss farms.

Sell, A.; Vidondo, B.; Wechsler, B.; Burla, J. B.; Nathues, H. (2020). Risk factors for tail lesions in undocked fattening pigs reared on Swiss farms. Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde, 162(11), pp. 683-695. Gesellschaft Schweizer Tierärztinnen und Tierärzte 10.17236/sat00278

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INTRODUCTION

Tail lesions caused by tail biting are a major welfare and economic concern in fattening pigs. The aims of this study were to describe the prevalence and incidence of tail lesions in undocked pigs on individual animal level during the fattening period, to elucidate potential risk factors associated with tail lesions, and to describe the stockpersons' attitudes towards tail biting on Swiss farms. Thirty-eight farms were visited three times during the fattening period (beginning, mid-point, end). During each farm visit, tail lesions were scored on 30-126 individually marked pigs per farm (total: 2209 pigs), information on potential risk factors for tail lesions was recorded, and a standardized interview with the farmer was conducted to explore his/her opinion on tail biting. Potential risk factors were defined by indices when adequate, and their influence on the occurrence of tail lesions was analyzed using mixed effects logistic regression models. During the first and the second half of the fattening period, on average 14,1 and 15,4 pigs, respectively, out of 100 developed new tail lesions or aggravation of old lesions. The risk for new or aggravated tail lesions increased with higher scores for a «disease index» and with increasing group size, and it decreased with higher space allowances and with restrictive compared with ad libitum feeding. The prevalence of tail lesions on arrival was not associated with the incidence of tail lesions in the first and the second half of the fattening period, neither at farm level nor at pen level. In the interviews, farmers expressed their interest in getting professional advice on how to reduce tail biting on their farms. In conclusion, our study identified several risk factors for tail lesions in undocked fattening pigs indicating that the incidence of tail lesions could be reduced by improving animal health and housing conditions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Swine Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Vidondo, Beatriz and Nathues, Heiko

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

1664-2848

Publisher:

Gesellschaft Schweizer Tierärztinnen und Tierärzte

Language:

English

Submitter:

Nathalie Viviane Zollinger

Date Deposited:

27 Jan 2021 15:26

Last Modified:

27 Jan 2021 15:32

Publisher DOI:

10.17236/sat00278

PubMed ID:

33140727

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Einstellung der Halter Mastschwein Risikofaktor Schwanzbeissen atteggiamento dell’allevatore attitude de l’éleveur attitude of stockperson facteur de risque fattening pig fattore di rischio morsicatura alla coda morsure de la queue porc d’engraissement risk factor suino da ­ingrasso tail biting

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/151405

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/151405

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