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EC recommends measures to reduce the need to practice tail-docking in pigs

When applying the general requirements on the prevention of tail-biting and thereby a reduction of routine tail-docking Member States should take account of the best practices guidance based on scientific knowledge.

Wednesday 9 March 2016 (2 years 9 months 4 days ago)
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The European Commission has just published the Recomendación (EU) 2016/336 of 8 March 2016 on the application of Council Directive 2008/120/EC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs as regards measures to reduce the need for tail-docking.

When applying the general requirements on the prevention of tail-biting and thereby a reduction of routine tail-docking as laid down in Annex I to Directive 2008/120/EC, Member States should take account of the best practices guidance based on scientific knowledge.

Member States should:

  • ensure that farmers carry out a risk assessment of the incidence of tail-biting based on animal and non-animal based indicators (‘the risk assessment’); and
  • establish compliance criteria with the requirements set out in the legislation and make them publicly available on a website.

The following parameters should be checked when carrying out the risk assessment: the enrichment materials provided; cleanliness; thermal comfort and air quality; health status; competition for food and space and diet.

Based on the results of the risk assessment, appropriate management changes in farms should be considered, such as supplying appropriate enrichment materials, comfortable environmental conditions, assuring a good health status and/or providing a balanced diet for pigs.

Enrichment materials should enable pigs to fulfil their essential needs without compromising their health. For that purpose, enrichment materials should be safe and have the following characteristics: edible, chewable, investigable and manipulable and should be provided in such a way that they are of sustainable interest, accessible for oral manipulation; given in sufficient quantity and clean and hygienic.

In order to check that pigs have access to sufficient and proper enrichment materials, Member States should ensure that farmers follow best practices regarding appropriate indicators to monitor the welfare of the pigs kept under their care.

pdf Recommendation 2016/336

Tuesday March 8, 2016/ OJEU/ European Union.
http://eur-lex.europa.eu

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