Independent report

FAWC opinion on pig mutilations and environmental enrichment

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.

Document

FAWC opinion on pig mutilations and environmental enrichment

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email defra.helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Details

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.

Published 21 March 2011