Sweden may ban the surgical castration of piglets without anesthesia as from 2016.
The Swedish government is planning to intensify animal welfare by banning piglet castration without the use of anaesthesia. The government thus picks up a campaign of its own pig industry, writes the German agricultural title Top Agrar.
The Swedish Parliament wishes to introduce a mandatory anaesthesia of male piglets prior to castration. This provision should be part of the national Animal Welfare Act, valid by January 1, 2016. As early as September 2012, pig farmers would have to be compensated for the costs incurred for providing anaesthesia or for vaccination against boar taint.
Furthermore, a free training would have to be offered to pork producers to help develop skills how to anaesthesise piglets. The Swedish Agriculture Minister Eskil Erlandsson, welcomed the cooperation of the agricultural industry in improving animal welfare standards in the pig sector, but warned the producers should remain to be competitive.
He indicated that it should be absolutely clear that before the changes would take effect on a large scale, producers can consist to compete on the free markets, despite higher costs due to improved animal welfare.
In the European Union, the pork industry has voluntarily agreed to ban physical castration by 2018. It is, however, unclear if this deadline will be met.
• Top Agrar