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Europe's Vets Review Position on Pig Castration

by 5m Editor
1 April 2010, at 12:48pm

EU - The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) has reviewed and updated its first position paper on pig castration, which was published in 2001.

In 2001, FVE adopted its first position paper on pig castration in which FVE requested to re-evaluate the practice of surgical castration of pigs, according to Gateway to Farm Animal Welfare from the FAO. The review recognised that at that time (2001) the need for castration still existed because there were no valid alternatives to prevent boar taint. The paper called for the development of realistic, ethical and practical alternatives.

In 2009, the 2001 FVE position paper was reviewed taking into account new scientific research, the market availability of alternatives and changing societal views.

According to FVE, Belgium has taken a nationwide approach to revise castration procedures, and over recent years, the Netherlands and Switzerland have also moved to make the use of anaesthetics mandatory In both countries, the whole food chain was involved in making these plans.

In its review, FVE concluded that "surgical castration without anaesthesia and analgesia should be avoided. Surgical castration, when necessary, should be performed by veterinarians under general or local anaesthesia with additional prolonged analgesia." This also implies that adequate anaesthetics and analgesics "should be authorised for piglets in all countries".

On immunocastration, the FVE review stated: "Depending on the acceptance by the consumer, immunocastration could be a socially viable alternative and should be considered."

Further Reading

- You can view the FVE position paper on pig castration by clicking here.