Netherlands: More pigs with stomach problems
The number of pigs with stomach abnormalities has increased considerably, concluded the Dutch Animal Health Service (GD).
Last summer GD sampled pig stomachs in two slaughterhouses and found that 58% of the pigs had abnormal stomachs. Twenty years ago this was 36% according to GD-veterinarian Peter van der Wolf.
Sows have a structural higher incidence of stomach abnormalities. The percentage of affected animals increased from 68 to 74%.
Few serious incidences
The percentage of animals with severe stomach damages and ulcers is low, Van der Wolf found. Sows had 4.4% and fatteners had only 0.2% had major stomach problems and these percentages did not show an increase in the last two decades.
The GD-vet finds the results remarkable: “Nutrition of pigs has changed considerably in the last few years through change of recipes and different processing techniques. Obviously this has not resulted in an improvement of the pigs’ health situation,” Van der Wolf said.
The figures obtained from the slaughterhouses match with those from the section tables at GD; few serious stomach injuries, but many stomachs not in perfect state.
According to Van der Wolf the findings are reasons for doubt on the welfare of pigs with stomach problems.
“With people stomach problems are very painful. Further research has to be carried out to identify the welfare problems in pigs with stomach problems.
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