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Impact of flooring on pig health and welfare

Project worker holding pigletCross sectional study on the impact of flooring on the health and welfare of pigs

Aim: to investigate the impact of commonly used floor types on the health and welfare of pigs on commercial farms.

Parts of the data were used to assess the likely impact on pigs’ health and welfare of the forthcoming EC directives (2001/88/EC and 2001/93/EC) which outline the slat and slot dimensions of concrete floors.

A cross sectional study was designed and carried out on 103 commercial pig farms in the UK. Pigs of all ages from pre-weaning up to adult sows and boars were included in the sample.

Observational data were collected on:

  • physical damage to feet, limbs and body
  • evidence of disease
  • maladaptive behaviours
  • housing and paddocks

In addition, interviews and postal questionnaires with farmers and veterinarians were used to collect data on:

  • farm management
  • current and past diseases

This study ran from 2003-2006.


Abstracts from International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics X1
Cairns, Australia (August 2006)

Prevalence of foot and limb injuries in pre-weaning piglets and risks associated with indoor flooring factors; a cross sectional study(PDF Document)

Prevalence of bursitis and capped hock in weaner to finisher pigs and risks associated with flooring factors: a cross sectional study of 103 GB pig farms (PDF Document)

Posters from Society of Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
Helsinki, Finland (March 2007)

Associations between floor type and foot lesions in growing pigs (PDF Document)

Limb and body injuries in lactating sows in England: prevalence and association with flooring (PDF Document)

Exeter, UK (March 2006)

Associations between poor locomotion and severity of limb lesions in finishing pigs (PDF Document)

Prevalence of foot and limb injuries in pre-weaning piglets(PDF Document)



Funded by DEFRA (AW0135)

Defra logo 

People involved:
Claire Gillman
Amy Kilbride
Laura Green


We are grateful to:
Assured British Pigs
Quality Meat Scotland
Participating farmers
Project research staff and field technicians