AIAB Technical day!

On Tuesday 16th April, AIAB organised the PPILOW Technical Day dedicated to organic pig farming at the Casa Caponetti farm in Tuscania (Italy). The meeting opened with a presentation of the PPILOW project, the experiments conducted in the various partner countries and the self-assessment app of animal welfare PIGLOW.

Stefano Chellini, agronomist and vice-president of AIAB Liguria, addressed the topic of African swine fever (ASF) from its origin, spread and the biosecurity measures needed to protect the organic and semi-organic herds from this disease. He emphasized on how to maintain a high standard of animal welfare even in an epidemic, reconciling essential precautions with the need to maintain the biodiversity of endangered pig breeds and a large reservoir of genetic resources, crucial in a climate change scenario. The speaker also outlined the simplification proposals submitted to the National Steering Committee on PSA by the coalition formed by AIAB, ARI, Slow Food, and Veterinarians Without Borders.

Caterina Santori’s talk highlighted the importance of animal welfare in organic farming in respecting the ethological expression of animals at various stages of development.  She outlined some of the innovations introduced on the Caponetti farm, including in terms of the nutritional value of the products fed. The timing and techniques to be adopted for castration and slaughtering were discussed.

Next, breeder Lorenzo Caponetti presented his vision of free-range farming as a tool to improve organic farm management. During the farm visit, he showed the distribution of groups, addressed pasture rotation techniques, the types of feeders and pens used, and the care given to the animals during the various stages of development.

The discussion focused on the need to raise awareness among health authorities and consumers of the peculiarities and additional work required to maintain high levels of animal welfare in organic and free-range farming. The meeting was attended by technicians, breeders, processors and business operators interested in learning more about the day’s topics.

Another technical day dedicated to organic poultry farming is scheduled for May 29th at in Acquapendente (Italy), and will discuss animal welfare from an agroecological perspective. Finally, on May 31st, the final PPILOW workshop will be held in Rome.