At the end of April 2009, a mobile phone base station was installed at a distance of about 300 meters from the investigated pig farm in the Lower Bavarian county of Passau (Germany). In the present study, data of two periods are compared: prior to the installation of the transmitter: 1) from 2002 to 2008 and 2) after the installation of the transmitter: from 2009 to 2011.
The average number of piglets decreased from 2,908 before installing the transmitter to 2,576 piglets per year after installation of the transmitter although the number of sows was increased from 133 to 140 on average. In addition to that, the number of fallows decreased significantly from 2.17 to 2.09 litters per sow per year.
As a result, the number of piglets per sow per year decreased significantly from 23.5 prior to the start of transmission to 20.6 after the onset. The assumed reason for this is a significantly increased occurence of failed fertilizations (25.7% after installing the transmitter compared to 17.6% before installation).
Just a few months after the start of transmission, an increased number of hermaphrodites and malformations of the head, abdomen and legs was observed in newborn piglets (no information about the significance).
The sex ratio changed significantly in newborn piglets after onset of the transmitter towards an increased number of female animals.
The authors conclude that an increase in malformations of newborn piglets and fertility problems in sows could be assumed after installing the mobile phone base station in the vicinity of the farm. This could not only have veterinary but also human medical relevance.