New guidelines aim to stop swine abuse

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New guidelines aim to stop swine abuse

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Apr 21, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Perry, Iowa -- Stopping swine abuse starts with a strong policy statement and veterinarians, according to the AASV Pig Welfare Committee.

At a recent meeting the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) Pig Welfare Committee established minimum guidelines for veterinarians and producers to use when penning a policy statement against abuse.

The guidelines, which are meant to be adapted for individual producers, include:

• Animal husbandry carries an intrinsic moral/ethical obligation to animal well-being.
• Willful abuse, cruelty, and neglect should be defined, including guidelines and/or examples.
• If abuse, cruelty or neglect are witnessed, action must be taken (e.g. intervene, report).
• Requirements exist for reporting abuse, cruelty, or neglect (e.g. to whom, within what length of time).
• Committing act(s) of abuse/cruelty/neglect will have repercussions (provide details or examples).
• Failure to intervene and/or report situations of abuse, cruelty or neglect will also have repercussions (provide details or examples).

AASV states such a policy, shared with all employees, but particularly the animal caretakers, should not only prohibit animal abuse, but require management be notified if abuse is witnessed, according to a media release.

Some of examples of policy statements currently in use are provided on the AASV Web site.

"The committee urges veterinarians working with swine producers to encourage and support the development and adoption of policy guidelines to reinforce the animal cruelty concerns of everyone in swine production," according to AASV.