France announces ban on piglet castration

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France has announced a ban on piglet castration without anaesthesia, which is due to take effect at the end of 2021.

Agriculture Minister Didier Guillaume has also announced a ban on the practice of live-shredding day-old male chicks.

“From the end of 2021, nothing will be like it was before,” Mr Guillaume told reporters in Paris, Reuters reports.

Piglet castration, mainly done to prevent boar taint in ‘whole’ finished pigs, is widespread in France, and is generally performed without the use of anaesthetic.

“We have worked with veterinarians ready to develop a protocol for comprehensive pain management,” Mr Guillaume said.

While piglet castration is not banned in the UK, the pig industry has led the way on the practice, which is banned under the Red Tractor scheme, which covers 94% of UK pig production.

Germany was planning to ban the practice but in January 2019, it extended the transition period for banning castration of young piglets without anaesthetic by two years.

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