Rubber mats don’t just help humans - they can improve the health of animals too. In a study published in the Journal of Animal Science, researchers showed that rubber slat mats can help improve the overall health and wellbeing of pigs. Because the majority of pork produce now comes from production-style breeding and processing, many pigs now suffer from movement problems due to the cramped conditions.
Rubber mats help reduce the chances of swine developing joint problems as well associated swelling and lesions. The rubber matting helps by improving the circulation of the animals.
The study tested its theory on pregnant swine using two types of flooring. The two groups were placed on either concrete slat floors while the other on rubber mat floors. The impact-reducing qualities of the rubber floors had a positive impact on the sows, while the concrete flooring increased foot and joint damage due to the hard surface.
However, the rubber mats did increase the risk of sole and skin lesions on some test subjects. This was possibly caused by the accumulation of slurry on top of the rubber mats. These issues could be addressed by modifying the mats.