There are many ways to explain what the expression “animal welfare” means.
In our point of view it means that WE FOCUS ON PIGS.
They are the main focus of a complex system built over the years that goes from spatial and environmental design to pig nutrition control and from the behaviour analysis of pigs to the reduction of psychophysical stress. This is a unique farming system that bears the name of Cura Natura.
In fact, animal and human welfare, safety and health are deeply interrelated.
A good quality of life means to eat a high-quality meat. This is why, our main aim is to guarantee to our animals a good quality of life.
“Animal welfare, everyone is responsible” THE EU ANIMAL WELFARE CAMPAIGN
The Cura Natura system
Where do our animals live?
Our farms are located in the Po Plain, where there are the fertile fields of Emilia Romagna and Lombardy. Our facilities respect both the environment and animals. In fact they are built respecting biosafety protocols, they are not environmentally invasive, they are not overcrowded with animals and our pigs can use outdoor paddocks, living in a safe space paved with solid floors, with no temperature excursion and safe from wild animal intrusions. 40% of our farms have free-access feeding systems, where animals can freely feed themselves at any time.
How do our animals live?
Our main purpose is to reduce stress and conflicts in pig herds, creating suitable living spaces, encouraging our animals to live in a herd and developing an empathic relationship with our workers. Those are the main principals of ETOTHERAPY, the science that studies animals’ behaviour and suggests the most suitable solutions for their welfare during every breeding stage, following a clear arrow protocol.
It is important to provide our sows with quiet spaces where they can farrow peacefully.
However, it is essential to pay much more attention to primiparae.
Heating lamps and covers are used to rapidly provide newborn pigs with thermal comfort.
Our basic principle is: no stress.
The continuous and active presence of a “guardian” leads our piglets towards the separation from their mother.
However, piglets take with them their mother’s smell, eating the same food and being surrounded by the same covers on which they lay during the lactation period.
Our workers stimulate the piglets to eat regularly and frequently, in fact they are used to drinking milk 20/21 times per day. Moreover, our professional workers encourage the piglets to move, they control and promptly nurse the piglets if they have health problems, they encourage the piglets to get used to interacting with human beings and they use toys and distractive objects to control dynamics within the group.
The relationship between our professional workers and piglets is fundamental in this phase too. In the growing-finishing phase playing is essential, due to the fact that piglets are very lively and cheerful in this specific stage of their lives. If a piglet do not behave as previously described our professional workers immediately step in to find the causes of this unusual behaviour.
The growing-finishing phase takes place dividing piglets in groups of 40 members, where our professional workers use objects, toys, hay and straw to stimulate piglets’ natural curiosity, to reduce the number of conflicts and to improve their performances.
What do our animals eat?
Our pigs are fed on cereals, mostly coming from our region. The perfect nutritional mix is prepared by our nutritionists and it contains Italian corn, barley, bran and soy.
We provide our animals with fresh food, natural vitamin supplements, chestnut and immunostimulators that support their immune functions naturally.
“Pigs taste like what they eat”
Cura Natura Pura
Cura Natua Pura is the method that we employ in our farms to treat water. Water molecules are activated using a special valve system called CNW7 (Cura Natura Water 7), that provides numerous advantages on health, animal cleanliness and the environment.
On the one hand, “activated” water is used to water our animals: it restores the physiological balance of fluids in swine’s body, it weaken the development of free radicals, it activates enzymes, it affects metabolic wastes reducing smells, the total amount of nitrogen and the presence of flies and midges.
On the other hand, “activated” water has also an important bactericidal effect and it helps the action of disinfectants when used in those spaces where pigs live. Finally, it is very useful in disinfecting and cleaning animals, above all sows while they are farrowing.
Who lives with our animals?
There is always something new to learn about animals, about their lives and their emotions, if we want to obtain the best for them and from them. This is why we consider the training of our workers as essential: international consultants works directly in our farms and our professional workers keep up with the latest methodologies and procedures. Specific trainings are organized for workers employed in every sector that deals with animal welfare, such as insemination and gestation, farrowing room, weaning and growing-finishing phases, breeding and fattening phases, vaccination and maintenance. Moreover, we cooperate since a very long time with the SUIVET school (an organization that provides professional trainings both to professionals and veterinarians working with pigs), located in Reggio Emilia, and its veterinarian team.