Welfare in transport

UK - Having water available to pigs during the whole of a journey may lead to poorer welfare, not better, says the National Pig Association.
calendar icon 31 July 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

National Pig Association

NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers - fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

In its response to a Defra consultation on animal transport it says:

  • For pigs, most water systems are the nipple variety, which lie flat against the side of the lorry when not in use. They are moved into use by a connecting handle at one end of the vehicle.
  • If they are in use when the vehicle is in motion, any pig thrown against the nipple is likely to be injured.
  • Even when a vehicle is stationary, pigs will drink the amount of water they need and then just play with the nipple. This causes excess water to be delivered which makes the bedding wet. This is poor welfare, especially in winter.
  • In winter, one way to ensure that the water system does not freeze is to turn off the water supply and let the pigs drain the system.
  • It is very difficult for a pig to drink when the vehicle is moving.
  • The tank capacity of vehicles varies between 650 litres and 1,000 litres. For journeys over 12 hours, the main criteria is to have water on board but also to be able to have access to extra water.
Follow the links below to download the consultation document and NPA's response.

Defra's Welfare in Transport consultation (PDF)

NPA's response to Welfare in Transport consultation (PDF)

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