Swine respond to gentle handling techniques better than they do to forceful restraint and stressful procedures. This is even more important when miniature swine are used on long-term projects. It is very important to socialize them so that repeated procedures can be performed without them developing aggression towards research personnel. Individualized treatment by husbandry personnel can help to induce a cooperative attitude in the animals. In contrast, swine in agricultural situations do not usually receive such socialization and use of agricultural methods of restraint and injection of medications may cause them to become unruly and stressed when approached by humans. The common practices for commercial production of swine used in agriculture are appropriate for their situation; however, those techniques are not the best procedures for swine in biomedical research. Information in this bulletin provides a guideline for handling, husbandry and common techniques for administering test substances and medications and blood sampling in swine in research facilities.
M. Michael Swindle, DVM, Professor and Chairman, Department of Comparative Medicine, Medical University of SC, Charleston, SC 29425