The German Farmers Association (Deutscher Bauernverband, DBV) has called for a postponement for the ban on castration of piglets without prior use of analgesia.
The German government intends to introduce this ban as from January 1, 2017. The association, however, said in a review, that the ban should be postponed for an unspecified time.
The DBV said that mandatory analgetics is not useful since at European level, agreements were reached four years ago to renounce castration as a whole as from 2018. It is, according to the DBV, not clear if Europe will reach this target, although the association approved the initiative at the time.
Applicable alternatives for surgical castration, i.e. practically feasible and supported by the market, are still not available and this situation will not have changed by 2017, the association indicated.
The DBV said: “To call for mandatory analgesia by that time would be utterly incomprehensible. This looks arbitrary, which causes a great deal of frustration with farmers.”
The association is not happy about possible consequences of an outright ban on castration – mainly for the market for finishing pigs. It is feared that the market share of large processsors, like Tönnies, Vion and Westfleisch (together taking 55%) would even grow.
They would be the only companies capable of buying and processing boars and signed a guarantee statement earlier this year. The DBV said: “This would mean producers finishing boars are in their power.”