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News 520 views last update:Nov 20, 2007

Dutch agree on anaesthetised pig castration

An agreement on anaesthetised castration of pigs is being drawn-up between various pig industry representative associations in the Netherlands.

In an article in the Dutch newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad, the LTO, NVV, COV, CBL and the Dutch society for protection of animals are currently working on a framework to respond to the request by the CBL (Central Office for the Food Industry) that as of January 1, 2009, only meat from pigs that have been castrated under anaesthetic can be sold.

"The topics discussed at the negotiations between all parties will not be revealed yet," said Annechien ten Have, Chairwoman of the LTO (Dutch Agriculture Employers' Association).

Anaesthetising pigs
Wyno Zwanenburg of the NVV (Dutch Association of Pig Producers), emphasised the fact that the agreement must contain a clause compensating the extra costs incurred by pig farmers and that the farmers should be in a position to be able to anaesthetise the pigs themselves.

He stated further that "lidocaïne injections, which are administered by a vet, are not useful as the animals experience much pain afterwards".

CO2-anaesthetic
In addition, he called for a quicker development of a CO2-anaesthetic, which can be easily applied on the farmyard and discussions about safeguards to be honoured by the pig producers and the retail industry. Such safeguards require both the pig producers to assure that their meat has come from pigs castrated under anaesthetics and the supermarkets, in turn, must confirm that this is in fact true. The LTO and the NVV are in agreement on this issue.

The Animal Sciences Group at the University of Wageningen, The Netherlands is currently carrying out a study on CO2-anaesthetics.

Related websites:

• LTO (in Dutch)

• NVV (in Dutch)

• CBL (in Dutch)

• COV (in Dutch)

• Dierenbescherming (in Dutch)

• Agrarisch Dagblad (in Dutch)

• Animal Sciences Group (in Dutch)

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