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

The relationship between animal welfare and sustainable pork production

Research Team:

  • Research Technician: Kyle Moak
  • Research Technician: Kayla Arisman
  • Research Technician: Venus Tran
  • Research Lead: Dr. Yolande Seddon

Project Timeline:

  • 2022–2026

Call for participants!

Seeking pig producers and swine veterinarians in Canada and the USA who are responsible for animal care and/or business decisions!
We would like to hear about your experience managing pigs to optimize production combined with approaches to improving their welfare.
To learn more, click here to check out our flyer!
If you wish to participate, please contact Kayla Arisman at ‘kayla.arisman@usask.ca’ or Kyle Moak at ‘kyle.moak@usask.ca’.


The pig production industry is under increasing societal pressure to meet animal welfare and environmental standards, whilst remaining efficient and economically viable in a globally competitive market. The interactions between managerial decisions to improve animal welfare and environmental and economic sustainability is challenging and not well understood. By combining knowledge from published literature and integrating producer and veterinarian insights into on-farm managerial decisions, a more comprehensive understanding of the relationships between animal welfare, environmental, and economic sustainability can be made, that knowledge of which can be used to make informed decision making.

Project Objectives:

  1. To develop an on-farm decision-making tool for pork producers, that uncovers how animal welfare decisions influence the quality of life for the pig welfare and interacts with other business goals such as economics and environmental sustainability, with regards to their production conditions, to measure the quality of life and sustainability of farmed pigs.
    • The tool is being developed by combining two approaches:
      • A scoping review: A systematic approach to mapping the scientific literature to identify, evaluate, characterize, and collate on-farm pig welfare and sustainability measurements.
      • Interviews with pig producers and swine veterinarians: Based on their expert knowledge and relationship with farmed pigs, interviewing pig producers and swine veterinarians regarding their on-farm health and welfare management is vital to the construction of the tool.
  2. Test and refine the tool in scientific trials and on-farm.
  3. Test the repeatability and feasibility of the tool with participating companies to ensure success in commercial production settings.

Value of this research:

This research aims to provide pig producers with a practical, evidence-based decision-making tool to navigate the managerial challenges surrounding animal welfare and business sustainability decisions while considering the economic pressures on pig producers. By incorporating the first-hand expertise of pig producers and veterinarians with the existing evidence gathered from the scientific literature, the relationships between swine welfare and sustainability on farms can be further understood.

Links to results:

Stay tuned!