Pig Health

The health of the pig herd and the prevention of diseases is essential for healthy pig raising and ultimately also for pork that is healthy for the consumer.

The Netherlands has a great many pigs for a small country. This has logistic advantages but also requires a well-organised animal health care. The Netherlands has requirements established in laws and regulations regarding the hygiene, health, welfare and environment of animals.

Dutch pig farms work together with pig veterinarians who are certified under the Good Veterinary Practice (Goede Veterinaire Praktijkuitoefening) (GVP) code. 

The doctors can rely on the expertise of the Animal Health Service (Gezondheidsdienst voor Dieren) (GD) at the University of Utrecht’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Vets and pig farmers put down in writing which tests and treatments they perform on the farm. The IKB quality assurance system includes instructions (lists) for the use of animal medicines.

To help prevent the introduction of animal diseases to the farm, visitors must shower and put on special clothing before they can enter the farm. There are also requirements for cleaning and disinfection of either part or all of the site, such as empty stalls awaiting new pigs. Businesses are monitored for compliance with these demands.

For transport of animals, there are special rules governing cleaning and disinfection (R&O). In addition, animal movements are registered and deregistered in a watertight Identification & Registration (I&R) system.