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Recommendations

104. We recommend that each herd should have a written health and welfare programme produced, where necessary, with veterinary advice setting out health and husbandry activities concerning the whole of the cycle of production. This should help to ensure that routine prophylactic measures are given at the correct time, at the correct dose and to the appropriate animals. This programme should be reviewed and updated annually.

105. The health of a pig farmed outdoors should not be compromised and if signs of disease or injury are noticed, immediate effective treatment must be given.

106. We endorse the Welfare of Livestock Regulations 1994 requirement which states that "sick or injured pigs shall, where necessary, be isolated in suitable accommodation with dry, comfortable bedding".

107. Handling facilities should be available which effectively enable the inspection and, where necessary, treatment of sows and boars.

108. We recommend that the Government commissions research regarding the re-introduction of boars back into social groups after removal for treatment. Such research should lead to clear practical advice on whether, and if so in what way, boars should be re-introduced to paddocks after treatment.

109. We encourage the use of individual housing systems for boars and supervised services. Attention should be given to avoid excessive mating activity between boars and sows.

110. Appropriate treatment for lame animals must be given as soon as is practicable.

111. Those responsible for the keeping of pigs outdoors should familiarise themselves with the MAFF booklet Lameness in Pigs.

112. We recommend that research is undertaken to discover the causes of stone-chewing in outdoor pig herds.