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Animal Health and Welfare (11-12-2012)

Animal Welfare: Experts discuss alternatives to surgical pig castration

The European Commission will organise a meeting with interested parties to discuss alternatives to surgical pig castration on 17 December 2012 in Brussels.

Event goals:

  • Highlight the voluntary European Declaration on alternatives to surgical castration;
  • Debate the implementation of alternative options to surgical castration which are already applied in and outside the EU;
  • Promote the abandonment of surgical castration within the EU by 1 January 2018 for organisations having signed the European Declaration.

The event will gather key European stakeholders from the pig sector, the European Commission, NGO's as well as scientific and veterinary experts to exchange views on the progress made so far in applying alternatives to surgical castration and to present the Commission's future initiatives on this issue.

Surgical castration is an animal welfare concern. It is practiced on young male piglets to avoid undesirable behaviour and to avoid the development of boar taint which can affect the expected taste and odour of pig meat.