A meeting was held in Brussels on February 26 to take stock of the situation of pig castration in different Member States. The abandonment of the practice of surgical castration was the target of the Declaration signed in 2010. According to the results of the meeting, it is a voluntary initiative —not compulsory for now.
The situation in the different member states is diverse: the UK and Ireland are the countries with the most experience in raising uncastrated pigs; in Spain and Portugal, 80% of pigs are uncastrated; in the Netherlands, the number of uncastrated pigs has increased from 5% in 2009 to 65% in 2014; on the other hand, only 5% of pigs are uncastrated in Denmark, and between 5 and 10% in Germany.
Current research in relation to the castration of pigs was also discussed at the meeting:
- Acceptance of products derived from non-surgically castrated pigs by the Authorities and consumers in the EU and third countries.
- Studies on the perception of boar taint.
- Research coordination, development and achievement of results.
- Development of information for farmers and other stakeholders of the supply chain (started in 2014).
- Analysis of costs and benefits of surgical castration.
- Drawing up of a list of traditional products made from heavy pigs, falling within the scope of the exception provided in the Declaration.
Monday, March 23, 2015/ ANAS/ Italy.