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Investment Needed to Improve Pig Housing

24 April 2013, at 7:43am

UK - A survey of buildings being used for pig production has shown many are at least 20 years old but producers cannot invest in replacements.

The willingness to invest is there as producers know a better environment leads to production efficiencies, however, the climate is not right and it is not happening.

The buildings survey has just been published by BPEX and is available to download [click here].

The key findings are:

  • 90 per cent of farms sampled stated that their current facilities were not ideal and they wished to invest in new buildings
  • There is a wide range in time since investment was last made in new facilities but many producers have made no substantive replacement or extension to their housing in the past ten years
  • Many pig producers still see improvement in physical performance, hence reducing the cost of production, as the main reason for contemplating investment in both facilities and new technology. But better use of labour and the desire to improve animal welfare also featured strongly.

BPEX Environment Programme Manager Nigel Penlington said: “This is the first comprehensive study of this type for many years and, while some of the findings confirm often-reported views, others provide a more detailed insight into the industry.

“What is clear is that, while the structure of many buildings on pig farms may be old, they have been maintained so that they remain fit for purpose. But they may not be the most efficient in terms of resource and labour use.

“The information gathered is helping BPEX respond to customers’ needs and assist them in taking their businesses forward.”

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