Currently, high-standard pig farming holds the field in the EU countries, combining modern technologies with traditional, fully balanced rearing so as to ensure the top quality and safety of pork. This is why European farming stands out among global competitors!
The location, construction and operation of livestock farms is strictly regulated by laws and requirements1 that put the farmer under an obligation to obtain various kinds of decisions and approvals and to present detailed analyses of the consequences of the environmental impact of rearing in its various stages. It is worth mentioning that high-quality EU farming should not have a negative impact on the natural environment.
The codified Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 20081 helped to systematise all legal requirements relating directly to the maintenance of the high welfare of farm animals. Each farmed pig is provided with the freedom of movement. Because sows prefer social interactions with other pigs in natural conditions, they must be provided with “environmental complexity”. In order to ensure animal welfare, breeders provide them with the relevant space in which they can maintain a natural lifestyle.
The most important thing is to ensure the high quality of feed and unlimited access to water allowing an animal to adapt consumption according to natural biological needs.
Feed given to pigs should be fully balanced and contain nutrients that are necessary for growth and proper development. Therefore, European farming involves the use of high-quality feeds that meet the REGULATION (EC) No 183/2005 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 12 January 2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene2.
Much attention must be paid to the quality of served water. It should meet all standards for drinking water intended for human consumption.
A farming place should constitute an area completely devoid of all obstacles. The amount of free space per animal depends, among others, on its weight. In the case of piglets or each reared pig except sows, this value ranges from 0.15 to 1.00 m2. Gilts and sows kept in groups must be provided with a surface of 1.64 m2 and 2.25 m2, respectively. The breeder should provide enough space for each animal so as to ensure the full freedom of movement. Walls of the buildings have to be adequately insulated to ensure the thermal comfort of animals. The building has to be kept clean, because the pig is a very clean animal.
According to valid legislation1, it is prohibited to build premises in which animals are tied. Pig farm owners are required to provide animals with adequate environmental conditions, which translates into the high quality of meat. Microclimatic conditions in buildings and premises for pigs affect animals both in a physical, chemical and biological manner, thus influencing their health and production results.
For the maintenance of the highest level of farming, quality and animal welfare controls are held regularly. Each of the member states determines relevant supervisory bodies:
– with regard to environment protection: the Environment Protection Inspectorate;
– with regard to the protection of animal health and welfare: the Veterinary Inspectorate.
Each breeder is required to keep detailed herd books3.
The maintenance of pig welfare during their whole life, the ensuring of optimum conditions for their growth and the exclusive use of proven and modern technologies has raised European farming to an entirely different level. This is why pork from the EU is one of the best around the world4. European farming ensures that the living conditions of animals are as similar as possible to those in the natural environment.
Exceptionally tasty and, more importantly, safe high-quality pork from the EU guarantees an unforgettable taste experience!