The Peace Pig Safety Catcher, referred to in at least one animal handling manual as a "spade snare", was a state of the art humane farming device for restraint of pigs - a welfare-friendly catch and restrain instrument useful for sow, boar or finishing pig.
Use of this instrument saved time and stress for both stockperson and animal. Instruments like this were 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. Unfortunately, because their cost was becoming increasingly high, they became widely replaced on pig units with cheap wire-noose snares for catching and restraining swine.
These wires are very harsh on the snout tissues, leaving abrasions and even open wounds that can easily become infected - risking carcase abscesses, joint infections and meningitis. It is also so much harder to catch a pig next time if you traumatise it this time! In the case of blood sampling, excessive stress can affect blood parameters.
A humane hand-held pig catcher like this one is much preferable to the use a rope snare. It is even preferable to snaring rope except in the case of very docile hogs standing close to fences or pen fixtures to which the rope can be secured. For biosecurity purposes, the rope can be dipped in antiseptic between pens.
Directions for use
Slide the sliding metal collar back up towards you to open the instrument's jaws wide. Position the instrument jaws each side of the pig's snout and slide the rope between the pig's jaws.
Then simply slide the metal collar downwards to tighten (pull) the instrument's jaws closer together. Give a final tightening (like a horse twitch) by twisting the entire instrument to tighten the rope noose around the pig's upper jaw.
No pig unit or smallholding should be without one! Gentle rope pressure on the snout ensures that the pig will stand still. It has a replaceable rope snare which avoids the welfare and snout injury problems associated with the cheaper wire snare restraining devices.
We can use ropes - either hand-held (tying them to pen fixings or fences after securing the pig), or ropes held on the end of an improvised stick or metal rod. These methods are cheaper initially, but more expensive long-term because of the time lost and stress generated when pigs are encountered who will not stand still long enough or open their jaws readily for the rope to be inserted.
This 2-pronged safety catcher has the advantage that the rope is held taught between the jaws of the instrument making it very manoeverable and taught enough to press against the pig's lips encouraging them to open so that the rope can be slid inside.
Sadly this catcher has gone out of manufacture now, if you have one for sale, please let us know...
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