CZAAWE Resource Article

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR AND WELL-BEING SYMPOSIUM: The Common Swine Industry Audit: Future steps to assure positive on-farm animal welfare utilizing validated, repeatable and feasible animal-based measures
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Journal of Animal Science
The Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA) was developed and scientifically evaluated through the combined efforts of a task force consisting of university scientists, veterinarians, pork producers, packers, processers, and retail and food service personnel to provide stakeholders throughout the pork chain with a consistent, reliable, and verifiable system to ensure on-farm swine welfare and food safety. The CSIA tool was built from the framework of the Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) site assessment program with the purpose of developing a single, common audit platform for the U.S. swine industry. Twenty-seven key aspects of swine care are captured and evaluated in CSIA and cover the specific focal areas of animal records, animal observations, facilities, and caretakers. Animal-based measures represent approximately 50% of CSIA evaluation criteria and encompass critical failure criteria, including observation of willful acts of abuse and determination of timely euthanasia. Objective, science-based measures of animal wellbeing parameters (e.g., BCS, lameness, lesions, hernias) are assessed within CSIA using statistically validated sample sizes providing a detection ability of 1% with 95% confidence. The common CSIA platform is used to identify care issues and facilitate continuous improvement in animal care through a validated, repeatable, and feasible animal-based audit process. Task force members provide continual updates to the CSIA tool with a specific focus toward 1) identification and interpretation of appropriate animal-based measures that provide inherent value to pig welfare, 2) establishment of acceptability thresholds for animal-based measures, and 3) interpretation of CSIA data for use and improvement of welfare within the U.S. swine industry.