News from EAAP Davos 2021: Pig Tour

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May 28, 2021

About 2.5 Mio. slaughter pigs are annually produced in Switzerland. Pig farms in Switzerland are small compared to EU countries. Animal welfare is very important in Swiss pig production.
For example, farrowing crates are banned since 2007 and castration is only allowed with anaesthesia.
On the EAAP pig technical tour we will visit a nucleus breeding farm with 140 sows, free farrowing pens and an isoflurane castration device. Besides we will see Swiss Large White
sows and PREMO terminal boars. Afterwards we will shortly visit a finisher farm with partly outside pens, which is also typical for Swiss pig production.
For the next topics of the pig tour we will go to Sempach near Lucerne. SUISAG is the breeding organisation in Switzerland with about 10’000 herdbook sows in roughly 130 farms. SUISAG
also runs two AI stations with about 250 boars and the Swiss pig health service.
After a barbecue lunch SUISAG and the Swiss breeding program will be briefly presented. The Swiss breeding is focused on calm sows, low piglet losses, E. coli resistance and several meat
quality traits. SNP genotyping and single step GBLUP are used in routine to produce genetic gain in the breeding program. Finally, we will visit the central test-station of SUISAG, where
roughly 3800 pigs are tested per year. In the meat quality lab traits like intramuscular fat content, cooking loss and shear force are measured in routine.
After a long and hopefully interesting “pig day” we will return to Davos in the evening. On the way we will stop at Wädenswil train station where you could take the train to Zürich main station
or the airport instead of returning to Davos.

Registration for the EAAP meeting and technical tours at