On 13 March 2014,  former Danish Minister Dan Jørgensen invited representatives from the Danish farming industry, slaughterhouses, animal welfare organizations, consumer organizations, veterinarians and retailers to a ‘Pig Summit’ focusing on better welfare for pigs.

They agreed to work for significant animal welfare improvements for pigs – while at the same time ensuring the continued  high reputation of the Danish agriculture and food industry as well as encouraging future growth possibilities in the food sector.

Pig production in Denmark is internationally recognized as being resource-efficient, of high quality and maintaining a high food safety standard. At the same time pig production is important for the Danish economy. This should remain unchanged.

Denmark produces millions of pigs.  Production of this size implies a huge responsibility. Thus there is a need to do even more to address welfare problems for pigs. This should be done in a way that balances the need for significant improvements in animal welfare with the interests of the industry with respect to economic growth and development.

There is an urgent need for the many agreed good intentions to be translated into concrete initiatives in order to achieve the objectives agreed upon by the participants in the Pig Summit:

 1.     Higher survival rates among piglets and sows

2.     In the longer term all sows should be housed in loose housing systems

3.     Ending castration of piglets

4.     Reducing the number of tail-docked piglets

5.     Strengthened efforts against gastric ulcers

6.     Animal welfare to be included in innovation of future pig stable systems.

7.     More options and information for consumers

8.     More education in animal welfare

9.     Pig welfare improvements internationally

In the English summary  of the Action Plan  the Danish Minister presents  the various initiatives including both the agreed common objectives and the industry’s own objectives.