Three out of Four EU Male Pigs Castrated

EU - A survey in European countries has revealed that 20 per cent of boars are left entire. Of the rest, fewer than three per cent are anaesthetised before castration.
calendar icon 11 December 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

A group of seven researchers from across Europe have published the results of their survey into the practice of castration in Europe in the journal, Animal, following presentation of their work at the EAAP Annual Meeting in 2008.

In the paper, lead author, B. Fredericksen from Animalia, the Norwegian Meat and Poultry Research Centre in Oslo and co-authors explain that PIGCAS (Attitudes, practices and state of the art regarding piglet castration in Europe) is to their knowledge the first project that has focused on castration practice across European countries (European Union minus Bulgaria, Malta and Romania, plus Norway and Switzerland).

About 250 million pigs are slaughtered in Europe each year. Of the 125 million male pigs, approximately 20 per cent are left entire, fewer than three per cent are castrated with anaesthesia and the rest are castrated without anaesthesia.

The study identified large variations in castration procedures, both within and between countries.

In females, castration is very rare, but is practiced without anaesthesia in special breeds/production systems in some of the southern countries.


Fredriksen B., M. Font i Furnolsa, K. Lundström, W. Migdal, A. Prunier, F.A.M. Tuyttens and M. Bonneau. 2009. Practice on castration of piglets in Europe. Animal, 3: 1480-1487 doi:10.1017/S1751731109004674

Further Reading

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Further Reading

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