A low-stress restraint for pigs and a device to reduce pre-wean mortality were the co-winners of this year’s F. X. Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production presented earlier this month at the Banff Pork Seminar.
The Hammock Swine Restraint Device was developed by Tess Faulkner and Gillian Greaves of South West Ontario Veterinary Services. It restrains the pig to allow both the operator and the animal to relax. Instead of using a sorting board or their body to restrain the animal, a worker is able to place the piglet into the restraint, keeping both hands free to safely operate euthanasia devices such as a captive bolt gun, ensuring accurate placement.
The FarrPro Haven microclimate for pigs was developed by Amos Petersen and Chris Hansen of FarrPro Inc. in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a heat and light supplementation platform for use in farrowing crates. It promotes healthy creep behaviour while significantly reducing pre-wean mortality (a recent Iowa State University study found a 20 per cent reduction) and lowering energy use.
For a more in-depth description of both innovations, go to meristem.com and click on the 2020 Banff Pork Seminar link.