The review describes the species-specific biology of pigs during nest building, farrowing and lactation. The text highlights important behavioural and physiological needs of both sow and piglets that need to be considered to facilitate welfare of sow and piglets. Five important key areas challenging welfare of sows and/or piglets are highlighted, and threats for welfare are described based on scientific knowledge with links to literature for further reading. The five key areas are: space and freedom to move, comfortable climate, nest building and exploration, litter size and competition, and mutilations. For each of these key areas, animal- and/or resource-based indicators are described, helping to identify welfare issues. These indicators can be used to facilitate welfare inspections on farms. Later, the legislation within each key area is described, and practises that can improve the welfare on farms within each key area are suggested, also with links to scientific references for further reading.
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