Germany Bans Piglet Castration Without Anaesthesia from 2019

GERMANY - The castration of piglets without anaesthesia was extended until the end of 2018 in order to give producers enough time to make adjustments, according to recently published paper.
calendar icon 30 September 2013
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Writing in Global Journal of Animal Law, Amelie C. Buhl explains that her article on the Amendments to the German Animal Welfare Act of 2013 is intended to provide a short overview of the novel provisions in German animal welfare legislation, including comparison with the previous state of the law and providing an outlook going beyond the current state of the law.

Directive 2010/63/EU had to be transposed into national legislation by 10 November 2012 and these laws, regulations and administrative provisions are to be applied subsequently from 1 January 2013. The Amendment achieves some of this implementation, with more detailed regulation and implementation of the Directive planned in another bill, the Animal Welfare Regulation on Animal Testing.

According to Ms Buhl, the castration of piglets without anaesthesia is prohibited as of 2019, as a result of the deletion of the previous exemption of the need to use anaesthesia when castrating piglets up to the 8th day of life.

She adds that this novel provision was a very contentious issue between animal welfare associations, animal producers' associations and the regulating Ministry of Nutrition, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. Thus the deadline for castration without anaesthesia was extended until the end of 2018 in order to give producers enough time to make adjustments.

The author is a German Lawyer in Munich and just began writing her doctoral thesis in Animal Law, especially on the Representation of Animal Interests in Public Proceedings, within the new doctoral programme 'Law and Animals' at the University of Basel in Switzerland.


Buhl A.C. 2013. Animal Welfare Law in Motion? – Comment on the Latest Amendments to the Animal Welfare Act in Germany. Global Journal of Animal Law. 1/2013.

Further Reading

You can view the full paper by clicking here.

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