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25 March 2015

Health and safety in livestock farming

The most efficient methods to ensure food safety

At the last handicraft fair in Milan, the Commodities and Health Unit of the police confiscated 300kg of food that had gone bad. In 2010, the “blue mozzarella” scandal saw the recall of 70,000 balls of contaminated mozzarella, and the dangers of meat pumped full of hormones or antibiotics make headlines on a regular basis. These issues are all reflected in public opinion, and although it is true that the media sometimes exploit them to achieve ratings, it would be shortsighted to underestimate the significance of food safety.

In the case of animal products, most problems originate at the top of the production chain, in other words, at the farm.

Fumagalli ensures the quality of its products at every stage of the production chain by means of four strategies that have been developed and fine-tuned over the years thanks to a huge corpus of information collected through computerised controls of the production chain.

The first issue is the selection of sows in order to minimise piglet death rates. The sows are selected through a study of population genetics, which makes it possible to identify the healthiest type of animal, which will have the least need for pharmacological treatment and will give the greatest and highest-quality meat yield.

The second rule is “completely full, completely empty”, meaning that each rearing cycle is isolated in order to avoid the risk of contamination and transmission of health problems.

Rule three is that the animals are reared in an environment that ensures their wellbeing, with plenty of space, straw and toys in the enclosures, and with breeding sows allowed to move around freely. In addition, we attempt to reduce – to zero if possible – interventions on the pigs, avoiding removing their teeth and tails.

And finally, the animals are fed a carefully designed diet, because high-quality feed means balanced growth, healthy animals, and a high-quality final product.

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