Anaesthetics do not solve piglet castration issue
Dutch supermarkets are reasoning too simply when they
say that they will not sell any meat that is from male piglets that have been
castrated without the use of anaesthetics.
This is the opinion of the Dutch agri- and horticultural organisation LTO
Nederland, after the supermarkets jointly revealed they will phase out sales of
this kind of meat as from 2009.
LTO says that not selling is not a
real solution for the problem - apart from the question whether it is possible
in practice to castrate without the use of anaesthetics.
Annechien ten Have, an LTO spokeswoman for the pig industry,
says that the producers rather had not castrated at all.
Ten Have has
doubts whether European pig producers will be able to meet the supermarkets'
specific requirements in the year 2009. As up to now, only in Norway, male
piglets are castrated with sedation.
She referred to a current European research, to investigate the
possibility to detect boar taint in carcasses at the
However, in Denmark, already €70 million has been
spent in the development of a production line having an electronic nose for boar
taint detection. German supermarkets abandoned the initiative when they found
out that consumers stayed away because they were not
Last week, the organisation of
supermarkets CBL said that it was old-fashioned to make piglets suffer like
There is also still ongoing research to the possibility of the
use of anaesthetics before castration. Ten Have says that there is a danger that
sedating is only easing the consumers' conscience without providing a real
Many big companies, like HEMA and Unilever, and certified
butchers have announced to join the supermarkets'
Related news items:
â€¢ Sedated castration: €0.012/kg cost rise (19 June 2007)
â€¢ End to sale of pigs castrated without sedation (15 June 2007)
â€¢ Dutch Agri- & Horticultural Organisation (LTO; in Dutch)
â€¢ HEMA (in Dutch)
â€¢ Dutch Central Bureau for Victualy Trade
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