The within-farm prevalence of vulva biting in breeding sows in south-west England was investigated using a postal survey sent to 410 pig farmers in January 1997. The response rate was 65% and there were 83 usable replies. The majority of farms where vulva biting was reported indicated a low within-farm prevalence of 1-9% of sows affected, although prevalences as high as 30-60% were reported. The injuries reported ranged from bleeding to removal of the whole vulva, the most commonly reported injuries being bleeding and superficial damage to the vulva. No long-term effects from this injury to service and dry sows were reported by 70% and 76% of farmers respectively. Competition for food, aggressive sows, closeness to farrowing and mixing of sows were the commonest causes suggested by these farmers.
|Publication Title||Animal Welfare|
|Author Address||Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK.|
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