Research: unsedated piglet castration is useful
The use of local anaesthetics for male piglets prior
to castration does help to alleviate the pain for the
The Dutch newspaper Agrarisch Dablad reports today that this was
concluded by researchers from Wageningen University and Research Centre's Animal
Sciences Group, the Netherlands, after having studied the pros and cons around
It is even better, the scientists concluded, to
combine anaesthetics with a painkiller injection to reduce post-surgery
Costs for this extra work were calculated for the
Dutch case. Should local anaesthetics be applied by a vet, then castration costs
rise with approximately €1 per male piglet. In case producers can do it
themselves, costs would only reduce to €0.28.
The researchers also checked the option of general
anaesthetics using CO2. It was noted, however, that disadvantages of this
process include very narrow safety margins and risks for piglet deaths through
excessive CO2 concentrations.
researchers tested five different castration methods and subsequently they
checked the animals' reactions like screaming, skin temperature and certain
When using anaesthetics, the piglets squealed less and
their blood levels proved to be better.
The research, however, also showed that
the animals that were anaesthesised did have more post-surgery pains. This disadvantage
could be taken away by giving painkillers.
Please also read this week's blog
by David Burch: 'Piglet castration with anaesthesia'
â€¢ Animal Sciences Group
â€¢ Wageningen University and Sciences
â€¢ Agrarisch Dagblad
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