NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare
NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare
(306) 966-7151
WCVM, UofS, 52 Campus Dr., Saskatoon, SK

Risk factors for sow mortality in Canadian swine herds

Research Team:

  • MSc Student: Cristina Prade Ramos
  • Supervisor: Dr. Jennifer Brown
  • Project Members: Yolande Seddon, WCVM, University of Saskatchewan; Brian Sullivan, Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement; Laurence Maignel, Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement; Frédéric Fortin, Centre de développement du porc du Québec.

Funding Agency:

Project Timeline:

  • April 2019 – April 2023


Sow mortality rates impact animal welfare and economics of pig production. Understanding the risk factors for sow loss is an important first step to understand developing evidence-based solutions.  

Project Objectives:

  • Review the existing literature regarding risk factors for sow mortality.
  • Survey Canadian sow herds to determine current death loss and culling rates and how farm management, herd and sow risk factors affect death losses.
  • Compare Canadian data with information from US and European herds to understand where Canada sits in the global perspective.

Value of this research:

Reducing sow mortality and involuntary removals will reduce replacement costs and increase sow lifetime productivity, improving economic performance and sustainable pork production, whilst also offering insights for improving animal welfare.

Links to results:

Results available in Cristina Prade Ramos’ MSc thesis