Last week 16 sows gave birth to the last piglets at VIC Sterksel. The very last piglet born was named ‘Vicky’ by the staff. The piglets remain on the farm until they weigh about 25 kg in 9 weeks. After that, VIC Sterksel will close its doors.
Vicky and her brothers and sisters help collect data for the last ongoing research project at VIC Sterksel; “Family feed”, a project investigating the effects on sows and piglets (up to 9 weeks of age) of the family feed system during lactation in.
Future of the VIC site
It is yet unclear what exactly the future will hold for the VIC site. Selling the pig farm was no longer an option, after Re-N Technology withdrew as a buyer in early 2020.
This means that WUR is exploring alternative options. There are 2 options:
- It is currently being considered whether new houses can be built at the VIC site. A request in principle has been submitted and approved for a change of use in the destination plan.
- In addition, WUR has registered for the warm remediation scheme.
For future pig research, WUR looks at custom solutions, (inter)national test sites or farms. In addition, research with pigs can take place at Carus in Wageningen and Wageningen Bioveterinary Research in Lelystad. In addition, some research questions can be answered partly through laboratory research or through studies using models.
In addition, Wageningen Livestock Research is in intensive talks with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University about a joint pig research and education location.