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Husbandry, health and biosecurity of the smallholder and pet pig population in England
  1. A. V. Gillespie, BVMS, MSc, MRCVS,
  2. D. H. Grove-White, BVSc, MSc, DBR, DLSHTM, DipECBHM, PhD, FRCVS and
  3. H. J. Williams, BVSc, CertCHP, DipECBHM, MRCVS
  1. Livestock Health and Welfare, School of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Leahurst Campus, Chester High Road, Neston CH64 7TE, UK
  1. Correspondence to E-mail for correspondence: helen.williams{at}


Three hundred and thirteen pet and smallholder pig owners in England responded to an online questionnaire regarding husbandry and healthcare of their pigs. There was a lack of knowledge of the legislation regarding Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) registration, animal movements and feeding of domestic food waste. Only 83.8 per cent of respondents had registered their pigs with DEFRA, while 17.7 per cent were not familiar with the movement regulations, and 23.9 per cent were feeding their pigs with household scraps. Contact with veterinary surgeons may be positively associated with DEFRA registration, legal feeding practices and knowledge of vaccination. Furthermore, the veterinary surgeon was considered to be the primary source of husbandry and healthcare knowledge. This paper identifies the pet and smallholder pig population as a potential risk for the incursion and spread of infectious disease, while highlighting the need for improved owner education.

  • pet pig
  • Husbandry
  • Questionnaire
  • Legislation
  • Infectious diseases
  • Pigs
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