For the future of pig farming: a transdisciplinary discourse organised as a future workshop
Germany is the largest pig producer in the EU, and many German farmers earn their living in the pig production sector. Current pig husbandry is characterised by intensive production systems, which have been subject to increasing public criticism over the recent years. Criticism often refers to the increased economic efficiency of such production systems and the simultaneous negligence of animal welfare and other sustainability aspects. However, in order to ensure successful and sustainable pig production in the future, broad social acceptance of this sector is indispensable. In this context, the integration of different stakeholder groups into the development of new pig housing and management systems could be a promising approach. The present study provides results of a transdisciplinary, professionally moderated and scientifically supported multi-stakeholder discourse that was organised as a future workshop to encourage new ideas for pig housing systems and management processes. Our study presents two types of results. On the one hand, it provides suggestions for pig housing and management systems that meet basic standards of animal welfare and farmers’ needs as well as societal demands. On the other hand, it summarises the experiences of the discourse process that may inspire future planning and implementation of multi-stakeholder approaches in similar fields. All developed pig housing and management systems have been agreed upon by all stakeholders involved and are characterised by enhanced space and mobility, separated functional areas, outdoor areas, continuous roughage supply, and organic materials for rooting and manipulation, as well as showers for the pigs.