Farm Animal Welfare Council advice to government about the impact on young pigs’ welfare of the mutilations they may be subject to during their lives.
This opinion assesses the need for mutilations of growing pigs, include tail docking, tooth clipping, identification and castration, in terms of welfare costs and benefits and the extent to which management or husbandry practices, including environmental enrichment, might reduce the need for mutilations. Where mutilations are necessary, the opinion addresses how procedures can be refined, including the possibility of providing pain relief.
The pig industry, government and other interested parties should be working together towards systems where pig behaviour is such that some or all mutilations become unnecessary. Where mutilations are still needed to protect pig welfare then every effort should be made to refine procedures to minimise pain and distress, for example by provision of pain relief.
You can read more about the work of the Farm Animal Welfare Committee.