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News 1135 views last update:May 9, 2008

Germany: petition against unanaesthesised castration

The German animal welfare organisation Deutscher Tierschutzbund will start a national petition against the practice of castration of male piglets without anaesthetics, the Dutch agricultural newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad reports.

The organisation called on agricultural minister Horst Seehofer to launch initiatives that will eventually lead to a ban on this practice.

Along with Naturland, an organic growing and supply organisation, the welfare group would like to see alternatives used, like castrating after anaesthesising using gas.

Not ready for use
The German agricultural federation (DBV), however, said this method is not ready for use as yet.

A legal ban can only be implemented, German agricultural organisations say, when useful results have been proved in e.g. the research project PigCas, done throughout the EU.

Turn to retail
Apart from that, the DBV suggested the welfare organisations should turn to retail in an attempt to influence consumer behaviour. "That way, agriculture could respond quickly," DBV said, referring to the way the same issue was solved in the Netherlands in the end of last year.

Every year, in Germany 20 million piglets are castrated without anaesthetics.

Related websites:
• German Agricultural Federation (DBV; in German)
• Agrarisch Dagblad (in Dutch)
• Deutscher Tierschutzbund (in German)
• Naturland

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