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Piglet castration

Around 80% of male piglets in the EU are castrated (EFSA, 2004), equating to approximately 100 million piglets each year, mostly without anaesthetics or analgesics (Fedriksen et al., 2009). The primary reason for castrating male piglets is to reduce boar taint (Prunier et al., 2005), although important secondary benefits include reduced aggression and sexual behaviours such as mounting, that increase with the onset of puberty in entire males (Zamaratskaia et al., 2009). Aggression and sexual behaviours increase the risks of injury to pigs, such as fight lesions and lameness (Fabrega et al., 2010; Rydhmer et al., 2010) and thus convey a reduction in welfare (FVE, 2009). There are also associated increased risks to stockpeople.

Piglet castration

Full technical information sheet. Suitable for readers with some prior knowledge or wanting to learn about the topic in more detail. 

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