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German scientists develop plastic toy for pigs

Zoom  Zoom Issue Date:2011-10-18   Source: puworld   Browse:910

This sounds like a candidate for one of former Sen. William Proxmire's Golden Fleece awards: Researchers at Kassel University in Germany have developed a polyurethane toy for pigs to play with to help release their aggression.


The "Wühlkegel," (translation: "rooting cone"), a PU ball on a spring, is designed to relive boredom and inactivity among captive pigs in order to improve animal welfare.


According to a report from Urethanes Technology International, researchers at the university carried out the $276,000 project along with the German federal ministry of food, agriculture and consumer protection.


The toys are currently being tested -- pigs' behavior is being monitored on video. Researchers said in a university statement that they are optimistic the project will be successful, especially as European legal requirements regarding the quality of toys for pigs are due to become stricter in the next years.


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