Dutch pig farmers devote considerable attention to the welfare of pigs. At the moment, the Netherlands is among the absolute leaders in the world. Welfare measures included in the IKB quality regulations cover virtually all pigs in the Netherlands.

One of the issues for welfare is the space available to each animal. In the Netherlands, there are rules for the space given to piglets, finishing pigs and sows. There are also rules governing illumination of the stables and the presence of enrichment material (toys).

The Netherlands is at the forefront in the field of animal welfare regulations. Pigs in the Netherlands have some 30 to 40% more living space. The space available is also better organised. The pigs often stay together in their own familiar group, which is important for a herd animal like the pig.

Finally, the law also forbids physical interventions except for those needed for the health or welfare of the animal, such as earmarking or castration.