Pig Welfare Assessment


Read this RSPCA technical sheet for more information on the welfare of pigs

Pig Welfare Assessment

To ensure we are improving farm animal welfare we need to be able to measure it. Measuring welfare enables us to know what level is being achieved on-farm and therefore better understand what impact the resources being provided and management practices being implemented are having on the animal” www.assurewel.org.

Visit our Animal Welfare Assessment page in Veterinary Questions to find out more about welfare assessment and visit the AssureWel website for practical information on assessing the welfare of pigs.

The Real Welfare project involves on-farm assessment of pig welfare using a set of five objective and repeatable measures. These measures are known as ‘welfare outcomes’ which are animal-based, meaning that they are obtained from the animals themselves, rather than from their environment. These measures include numbers of pigs that would benefit from removal to hospital pen, lame pigs, pigs with tail lesions, pigs with body lesions and the amount of enrichment provision.

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  • Livestock should be land-based and integrated with farm cropping enterprises
  • Animals should be provided with conditions that enable them to exhibit natural behaviours
  • Dependency on veterinary medicines should be reduced without jeopardising the well-being of animals


outdoor access

Animals having outdoor access, shade, shelter, lighting and sufficient space for them to undertake free movement and to exhibit natural behaviors.


Using breeds and strains well-suited and adapted to the prevailing conditions.

Health Plan

Implementing herd and flock planning based on sound ecological practices and epidemiological knowledge.


Undertaking good practice with regard to biosecurity.

closed herds

Maintaining animals in closed herds and flocks and at stocking rates that enables free-movement, reduces risks of disease spread and minimises environmental damage.

forage and grazing

Forage and grazing being the main source of nutrients for ruminants, and continuously available to non-ruminants.

production practices

Avoiding the use of mutilations as standard production practices.


Improved understanding and responsible usage of veterinary medicines.