Safe and humane handling and restraint-
In order to assess the health of a pig, correct handling and restraint is necessary to reduce the risk of injury and stress to both the pig and handler.
Restraint of young pigs (up to 10kg):
- To restrain a piglet for assessment, lift the piglet by a back leg, taking care not to ‘snatch’ or ‘swing’ the piglet as you lift it.
- Place you other hand under the chest of the piglet to provide support and lift the pig so that is it horizontal.
- Hold the piglet firmly to minimize the piglet’s ability to move.
- When returning the piglet to the ground, ensure both front legs have contact with the surface before gently lowering the back legs to the floor and releasing your grip.
Restraint of older pigs (over 10kg):
- When restraining pigs, ensure the area will not pose a risk of injury to pig or stockman such as a nonslip floor, flat sides and clear of distractions.
- Ensure the area is large enough to perform the task safely, but small enough to restrict movement and ensure required equipment for task is ready and immediately available to you in the handling area.
- Ensure the pig cannot move forward.
- Apply gentle pressure with the pig board/your leg to the hind-quarters and flank of the pig to keep them still,
- Treat the pig as quickly as possible, and return to its pen promptly.
The use of a restraining snare may be necessary to provide adequate restraint if the task will take a long time, however it should only be used if absolutely necessary. The person snaring should be trained and competent at this activity.
Here’s how to use one!
- Place loop in mouth, over top jaw/snout
- Hold snare handle vertically
- Move loop back before tightening
- Release pig as soon as possible
- Do not restrain for prolonged periods of time
- Do not move or tie the pig up with the snare
(Images: http://www.thepigsite.com/articles/2392/handling%20and-restraining-pigs, http://www.pighealth.com/offers/item/equipment.htm)