Today we had a meeting with two representatives from ZonVarken. ZonVarken is an innovative pig farming concept focusing on animal welfare, the environment (including climate change), the farmer, and the local community. We were impressed with their innovative approach focusing on the pigs welfare and natural behaviour from birth to slaughter.
We advised ZonVarken on how stress during transport and in the slaughterhouse can be minimised. Such as transporting pigs in their social groups to avoid aggressive behaviour, getting pigs used to transport by leaving the livestock trailer in the pasture a few days in advance, making pigs less sensitive to stress by getting the pig farmers to walk between the weaned piglets once a day (and allow the piglets to stand and lie down) and the use of raceways with closed, high sidewalls – so that the pigs experience as little negative stimulus as possible. We have also made some suggestions regarding fire safety.
When the pigs are transported for the first time, Eyes on Animals will be present to watch the herding, movement, loading and unloading and if necessary provide suggestions to further improve animal welfare.
We found it to be a very inspiring, useful and educational conversation. The fact that ZonVarken will consider both the animals welfare and behavior in transport and at slaughter within their farming model is quite unique. We wish ZonVarken the best of luck going forward in their continued operation.