On March 9, 2003, swine veterinarians will receive training in the National Pork Board's Swine Welfare Assurance Program (SWAP) to prepare for possible on-farm assessments. The workshop, co-sponsored by the pork checkoff, will be at the annual meeting of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians in Kissimmee, FL.

Pilot farm testing of SWAP was held for two weeks in November, says Anna Johnson, director of Animal Welfare at the Pork Board.

The Pork Board Animal Welfare Committee held a two-day meeting in December to iron out recommendations for on-farm guidelines.

“SWAP is a voluntary program for all producers that can be used as a comprehensive, scientifically based tool to evaluate swine welfare in all types and sizes of farms,” says Johnson. “SWAP has been designed to include all phases of production, but the program is divided into two distinct pieces, breed-to-wean and wean-to finish.”

SWAP evolved from the Swine Welfare Index System, which focused on the gestating sow housed in stalls, pens and on pasture.