Farmers view pain relief as an important part of pig husbandry

Farmers and veterinarians have a positive attitude towards the provision of pain relief for pigs according to research carried out by Edinburgh-based PhD student, Sarah Ison.

Using results drawn partly from a questionnaire carried in Pig World, Ms Ison found that most farmers view the recognition and management of pain as an important part of pig husbandry, with many expressing an interest in finding out more about identifying pain in their stock and the treatment options which are currently available.  

Survey respondents were asked to indicate which anti-inflammatory drugs they used or prescribed for pigs, how often these were administered, and the level of pain they associated with particular conditions. While revealing general agreement on many issues, the survey also showed up a few differences of approach.

“While both farmers and veterinarians gave similar pain scores overall, farmers rated gastrointestinal disease as more painful and conversely veterinarians scored lameness higher,” reported Ms Ison, whose final report was published in the Veterinary Journal.

She also found that female and younger respondents gave higher pain scores than males and older respondents.

“Overall, farmers and veterinarians had a positive attitude towards pain relief in pigs with the majority agreeing that animals recovered more promptly when pain relief was administered,” she reported.

Ms Ison carried out the work while part of Scotland’s Rural College’s Animal and Veterinary Sciences Research Group.

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