Type: Book

Understanding the behaviour and improving the welfare of pigs


Dr Sandra Edwards is Emerita Professor in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Newcastle University, UK. Professor Edwards is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on pig welfare with over 200 publications in the field. She has won numerous awards, including from organisations such as UFAW, EAAP, RSPCA and BSAS. She is a former President of the British Society of Animal Science, a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, as well as a former member of the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council and the Animal Health and Welfare Panel of the European Food Safety Agency.



Publication date:

16 February 2021

Length of book:

594 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786764430

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“The book has excellent chapters that are actually too good to ‘just’ be book chapters. The quality of some chapters far bypasses some of the existing peer-reviewed literature reviews that are accessible online. I therefore encourage researchers to cite the book chapters and to use them as a reference work for research ideas and as guidance to improve research practices.” (Dr Irene Camerlink, Institute of Genetics and Animal Biotechnology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland)

With growing concern from consumers and regulatory agencies about the welfare of farmed animals such as pigs, the livestock sector must assess how animal welfare can be improved whilst ensuring livestock production remains economically and environmentally sustainable.

Understanding the behaviour and improving the welfare of pigs is a comprehensive review of key research in this important area. This collection reviews genetic and developmental factors affecting pig behaviour and current welfare issues at different production stages, as well as specific issues such as tail biting and castration. The book concludes with an assessment of ways to measure welfare, including techniques to monitor pig behaviour.

With its distinguished editor and international team of expert authors, Understanding the behaviour and improving the welfare of pigs will be a standard text for university researchers in pig/swine and veterinary science as well as ethology. It will also be a key reference for government and other agencies involved in regulating and monitoring farm animal welfare, as well as farmers and companies involved in pig production.

What others are saying...

"Animal welfare is an essential aspect of modern livestock production and a sound knowledge of animal behaviour is fundamentally important to understand animal welfare. The proposed content of this book is excellent and covers all major themes in the field of pig behaviour and welfare. The list of authors includes most of the best scientists in the area. Therefore, I am fully convinced that this book will become a must for anyone interested not only in pig welfare, but also in pig production in general."
Dr Xavier Manteca, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain

Table of contents

Part 1 Determinants of behaviour
1.Advances in understanding the genetics of pig behaviour: Lotta Rydhmer, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden;
2.Developmental influences on pig behaviour: Giuliana Miguel-Pacheco and Yolande M. Seddon, University of Saskatchewan, Canada;

Part 2 Management of behaviour in different production stages
3.Optimising pig welfare in breeding and gestation: Paul H. Hemsworth, University of Melbourne, Australia;
4.Optimising sow and piglet welfare during farrowing and lactation: Emma M. Baxter, Animal Behaviour and Welfare Team, Animal and Veterinary Sciences Research Group, SRUC, UK; and Sandra Edwards, Newcastle University, UK;
5.Optimising pig welfare at the weaning and nursery stage: Nicole Kemper, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany;
6.Optimizing pig welfare in the growing and finishing stage: Arlene Garcia and John J. McGlone, Texas Tech University, USA;
7.Optimising pig welfare during transport, lairage and slaughter: Luigi Faucitano, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada; and Antonio Velarde, Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology, Spain;

Part 3 Current welfare issues
8.Evidence of pain in piglets subjected to invasive management procedures: Armelle Prunier and Céline Tallet, PEGASE, INRAE, Institut Agro, France; and Dale Sandercock, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), UK;
9.Alternatives to castration of pigs: Emma Fàbrega, IRTA, Spain;
10.Understanding and preventing tail biting in pigs: Sandra Edwards, Newcastle University, UK; and Anna Valros, University of Helsinki, Finland;
11.The role of enrichment in optimizing pig behaviour and welfare: Sandra Düpjan and Liza R. Moscovice, Institute of Behavioural Physiology – Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology Dummerstorf, Germany; and Birger Puppe, Institute of Behavioural Physiology – Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology Dummerstorf and University of Rostock, Germany;

Part 4 Assessment of welfare states
12.Physiological and behavioral responses to disease in pigs: M. D. Pairis-Garcia and B. K. Wagner, North Carolina State University, USA;
13.Assessing emotions in pigs: determining negative and positive mental states: Eimear Murphy, Luca Melotti and Michael Mendl, Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol, UK;
14.Welfare assessment of pigs: Björn Forkman, University of Copenhagen, Denmark;
15.Advances in technologies for monitoring pig welfare: Maciej Oczak, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria; Kristina Maschat, FFoQSI GmbH, Austria; and Johannes Baumgartner, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria;