Farmers advised to use ear protection while feeding ’squealing’ pigs

May 26th, 2009 - 4:56 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 26 (ANI): Farmers have been advised to use ear protection when feeding pigs, to protect them from ‘deafening’ squeals.

The noise made by pigs during mealtimes can reach more than 100 decibels, louder than a chainsaw or powerdrill, the Health and Safety Executive has warned.

It has produced a leaflet entitled Farmwise - An Essential Guide to Health and Safety in Farming, recommending farmers to wear earmuffs or stay away from pigs while they are eating, reports the Telegraph.

The leaflet said: “Large numbers of pigs in a building can create noise levels of 100 decibels or above, especially at feeding time,” according to the leaflet.

The leaflet also suggested that even short-term exposure could be harmful, particularly if workers are exposed to other sources of noise during the day.

“Use mechanical or automated feeding systems to reduce the need to enter the building when it is noisiest, e.g. at feeding time. Make sure any work requiring entry is done during quieter periods,” the leaflet added.

HSE inspector Tony Mitchell said that the noise in pig farms only becomes a problem where hundreds of pigs are kept in close confinement in giant sheds.

“If you can imagine a shed with three to 400 hungry sows waiting for you to come and feed them and they are all squealing at the same time, the noise they make can be quite dramatic,” he said.

“But it’s not an issue if you have an automated feeding system you can switch on from the outside. Once the pigs are feeding they are quiet.

“If you are feeding pigs with a barrow of feed with a scoop for each pig you could be exposed to that noise for quite some time,” he added. (ANI)

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