Pig catcher and snare is an instrument that saves time and stress for both stock person and animal. Instruments like this are used for close examination, administering injections, collecting blood samples, collection of milk samples, reading ear numbers, routine farm procedures such as removing tusks of boars, etc.
It is indicated that farmhands and stockmen who handle and restrain pigs should be shown the correct techniques relevant to the size/age of the pig. Correct handling and restraining a pig will reduce the risk of injury and stress to both the pig and the stockman. Below is a list of considerations necessary for pig handling.
- Safe handling area
- Suitable pig board
- Snares and pig catchers, if restraining older pigs for treatment
- All livestock can be unpredictable.
- Only competent staff should handle and restrain pigs.
- Suitable protective clothing
Before you restrain a pig for treatment ensure:
- All the required equipment is ready to use
- After the pig is restrained ensure all the equipment is easily accessible.
- When moving pigs especially pigs that weigh over 10kg (older pigs), ensure the way forward is clear, secure, and obvious to the pigs and ensure that the pigs are moved from dark to lighter areas with no shadows.
- Make sure the area will not pose a safety risk to the pigs or stockman e.g. make sure the floor is not slippery, clear all distractions etc
Use of Pig Catcher and Snare catchers for restraint
If the task will take a long time, e.g. to lance an abscess, the use of a restraining snare or snatch may be necessary to provide adequate restraint. They should only be used when absolutely necessary, and the person snaring should be trained and competent at this activity. The snare/snatch should be designed specifically for the purpose of restraining pigs and kept clean and hygienic.
Outline of use
- Set up the area of restraint as above
- Control the pig’s movement with a pigboard
- The size of the snare loop should be relevant to the size of the pig being restraint
- Place the snare loop in the mouth and over the top jaw and snout of the pig, and adjust the snare diameter with the rod.
- Move the loop as far back in the mouth as possible before tightening it
- Hold the pole/snare securely, then use the pig board to immobilize the animal.
- A second person can then perform the required task
- Release the pig as soon as possible by smoothly loosening and releasing the snare and then return the pig to its pen
- Pigs should not be restrained by snatching for prolonged periods.
- Do not attempt to move the pig by pulling the pig by the snare
- Pigs should not be tied up by the snare.
- Never pick a piglet up by their ear – this can cause ear hematomas – or by a front leg or tail.