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Application of the Welfare Quality animal welfare assessment system in Finnish pig production, Part I: Identification of principal components

By C. Munsterhjelm, M. Heinonen, A. Valros

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Abstract

The Welfare Quality (WQ) on-farm welfare assessment protocols for fattening pigs (n=95 farms) and sows, as well as suckling piglets (n=103 farms), were applied on Finnish farms. In order to identify distinct types of welfare problems (WPTs) Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was applied to the pooled animal-based items within both categories of animals. Measures describing suckling piglets did not contribute to the WPTs. The main WPTs (seemingly) reflected fighting in fattening pigs and lack of bedding in both fattening pigs and sows. The results imply that WQ includes biologically plausible shortlists of animal-based measures with decent to good internal consistency describing distinct types of welfare problems in growing pigs and in sows. The 20 descriptors of Qualitative Behavioural Assessment were analysed similarly to identify distinct mood types, which were named active positive, passive positive and passive positive behaviours. The different mood types had close to identical build-up in both fattening pigs and in sows and suckling piglets.

Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 151-160
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
DOI 10.7120/09627286.24.2.151
Language English
Author Address Department of Production Animal Medicine, University of Helsinki, PB 57, FIN-00014, Finland.camilla.munsterhjelm@helsinki.fi
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Tags
  1. Animal nutrition
  2. Animal production
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Farms
  6. Finishing
  7. Livestock
  8. Mammals
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. pig farming
  11. Pigs
  12. Research
  13. sows
  14. suckling
  15. Suiformes
  16. tests
  17. ungulates
  18. vertebrates
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  1. peer-reviewed