Posted by Janice Chow
The wellbeing of animals continues to be a priority for livestock professionals all over the world; and this is something that was clearly reflected by the response to Elanco’s Care4Pigs grant initiative that drew more than 120 applications from 29 countries.
From the numerous entries, the Care4Pigs jury set upon the task of selecting three stand-out wellbeing projects – each to be granted €10,000 to support its initiation or further development.
One winning initiative was submitted by Professor Cesar Augusto Pospissil Garbossa from Brazil. Who was selected for his proposal of an online training platform to support farmers in proper identification of pigs in need of care and treatment, especially in cases where veterinary support may not be easily available.
Member of the Care4Pigs jury and consultant at the Brazilian Association of Swine Veterinarians (ABRAVES), Dr Cleandro Pazinato Dias sees this as a very good outcome for the Latin American region:
“Brazil is one of the biggest pork producers in the world, so to have a strong contender winning a Care4Pigs grant sends a positive message to farmers, universities, and other companies throughout Latin America. Providing proper training online can benefit swine professionals across a large geographical area and help enhance the standard of care and treatment of animals”
The next successful grant recipient is Professor Agnes Waret-Szkuta from France for her project to progress a mobile and web-based application that coaches farmers and veterinarians on practical swine welfare parameters and implementation on-farm.
Dr Hyun-Seop Kim, member of the Care4Pigs jury and president of the Korean Association of Swine Veterinarians, explains the practicality of this entry:
“All the winning submissions have a significant benefit to swine welfare and added value to farming operations at the same time. This web and mobile application will be a practical tool that can help swine professionals to implement and track wellbeing improvements on the farm.”
The final winning submission was from Dr Thomas Heinrich Echtermann of Switzerland, who is looking to further his research into the impact of free farrowing on sows and piglets.
Representative of the Farm Animal Welfare Education Center, and Care4Pigs judge, Dr Xavier Manteca, elaborates on the timeliness of this project:
“Free farrowing is an important topic across many countries and has the potential to improve not only the welfare of sows, but also reduce mortality rates of piglets. This project will allow further advancements and help drive greater understanding among swine professionals on free farrowing system best practices and its benefits.”
The Care4Pigs global grant initiative is in line with Elanco’s strong commitment to advancing the health and wellbeing of animals and contributes toward Elanco Healthy Purpose™, the company’s approach to sustainability, as well as environmental, social and governance commitments.