Stress study to boost pig welfare
Researchers spearheading a three-year collaborative project to improve Australian pig industry welfare standards are welcoming an almost $900,000 injection.
The Australasian Pork Research Institute Limitedbacked study, focusing on pig early stress experiences and stress resilience, received a $450,000 grant from Australian Research Council. An additional $449,393 has been committed from other project partners.
APRIL chief executive and chief scientist John Pluske said the ARC grant would aid studies to shape a greater understanding of pig heat-stress.
“APRIL’s vision is for collaborative pork industry research, focused on industry-led priorities, leading to timely generation and adoption of outcomes able to ensure sustainability and profitability of Australasian pork producers,” he said.
“This project, backed by international collaboration, will have a global impact on new knowledge and improved husbandry.”
University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, SunPork Solutions and Rivalea Australia are also involved in the study.
University of Melbourne veterinary clinical sciences academic Paul Hemsworth said pig heat-stress studies would underpin social confidence in the pork industry’s ability to promote animal welfare.
“Modern pig farming is a major source of food, providing substantial nutritional, social and economic benefits for Australia and the world,” he said.
“Importantly, public animal welfare concerns can dramatically affect welfare-based purchasing decisions and curtail farm profitability and the continued use of specific animal practices.”