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Pig handling

Information about working with pigs, lifting and other factors.

  • Use lane design that will encourage pigs to work freely.
  • Build protective coverings over working and drafting races.
  • Avoid slippery surfaces in races and forcing yards and keep dust levels to a minimum.
  • Sterilise needles, teeth cutters, ear pliers and ensure operators observe strict hygiene practices.
  • Observe recommended withholding periods for drugs and chemicals before pigs are slaughtered.
  • Wear appropriate protective clothing.
  • If possible have two people to lift pigs.
  • When lifting alone, squat down, take a firm hold of its back legs, pull the animal firmly against the body and lift using your legs not your back.
  • If lifting the pig over a fence do not attempt to drag, work from the same side as the animal.

Other factors that need to be considered include:

  • Age, sex, breed, weight, horn status, temperament and training of the animal.
  • Boars are more aggressive during the mating season and extremely dangerous when fighting. Prevent boars coming in contact with each other at all times.
  • When moving boars use a drafting board.
  • Make use of facilities and aids such as nose ropes and drafting boards.
  • Pens and lanes need to be large and strong enough to match the pigs being handled.
  • Avoid sharp, blind corners on pens and ensure gates are well positioned.
  • Where pigs need restraining use crushes and nose ropes.
  • Maintain lanes in a non-slippery state.