More South Australian piggery staff have completed ProHand pig handling training during the past three years than in all other states combined. Of the 393 stockpeople nationally who have completed a full ProHand course since 2009, 233 have been staff working in SA piggeries.
ProHand is a training course designed by Melbourne and Monash University animal welfare researchers to teach piggery stockpeople correct pig handling and moving techniques.
The on-farm application of more frequent 'positive' (rather than 'negative') handling of pigs leads to an improvement in stockperson job satisfaction, through a reduction in the amount of physical effort required to move pigs and an increase in the predictability of their movements, as they become less fearful of close human interaction. At the same time, pig growth rates, fertility and carcase quality respond to more routine positive handling used in the piggery and during loading and transport.
Examples of positive pig handling include pats, strokes, slow movements, less shouting and a hand resting along the moving pig's backline, when appropriate.
Thursday June 21, 2012/ Stock Journal/ Australia.