The pig sector in Uganda is among the fastest growing livestock sectors and is characterized by low
productivity from limited resources and veterinary support. As the welfare status of pigs in the
system is unknown a cross-sectional welfare assessment was carried out in four districts in central
Uganda (Masaka, Mukono, Mpigi and Wakiso) to identify issues requiring action.
Materials and methods
Data were collected from 270 pig farms. Data on animal-based indicators (body condition and
physical injuries) and resource-based indicators (housing and water supply) were obtained from
physical assessments of pigs and farm facilities. Management data (morbidity and mortality) and
demographic details were collected from farmer interview. We present sow results as they are the
highest value animal of the herd, both raising piglets and requiring resource investment.
Across all farms, sow mortality was 2.5%. Animal-based indicators identified 9% of sows with
diarrhea, 7.6% with lameness and 92% dry or lactating were found to be ‘skinny’ (body condition
score≤2). All of these are indicative of underperforming sows that may be at risk of low litter indices
and shorter productive lives. Sow behaviour was restricted in 19% of cases, and while 93% of sows
had access to continuous water, only 48.8% received clean water, which creates a risk of disease
spread. Of reported health issues, 20% farms reported sows experiencing stillbirths, 15% ill thrift,
12.5% respiratory issues and 10.8% gastrointestinal issues.
These welfare issues indicates that a proportion of sows were in pain, discomfort and potentially
hungry, which in turn negatively impact on owner livelihoods from wasted resources and
opportunities. Future interventions focusing on herd health should focus on diseases and poor
nutrition. Interventions that provide access to clean water and optimum living space that give sows
the ability to move more freely are also required.
Dione, M., Oba, P., Nsadha, Z., Kassahun, A., Knight-Jones, T. and Doyle, R. 2022. The status of sow welfare in selected districts of Uganda. Poster prepared for the 16th International Symposium of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Halifax, Canada, 7–12 August 2022. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.