- Purpose: to prevent tail biting. Tail biting is a behavioural disorder in pigs triggered by intensive farming.
- A hot electrical iron (a so-called docking iron) is used to cut or burn off a piece of the tail.
- Purpose: to prevent the so-called 'boar taint'.
- The skin of the testicles is sliced open with a scalpel, the testicles are pressed out and cut off.
- Purpose: to prevent piglets from injuring the udder of the sow or each other.
- The eye teeth are clipped using pliers.
- Purpose: identification
- The ears are pierced to fix ear tags.
- In Australia, farmers also perform ear notching where pliers are used to remove a small piece of the pig's ear, often without pain relief.
Fortunately, nose ringing is not a common practice in Australia, but it is still used by farmers as a last resort.
- Purpose: to prevent rooting in free-range farming
- Using pliers, a metal ring is inserted in the upper part of the pig's snout (a pig’s snout has 5,000 times more nerve ends than a human finger tip).
FOUR PAWS demands:
- A ban on tail docking. Appropriate conditions in pig farming do not require the amputation of body parts.
- A ban on teeth clipping. Careful smoothing down may be carried out in the case of injury to the piglets or sow.
- A ban on ear notching, and the replacement of ear tags through alternative identification marks such as chips.
- A ban on nose rings. Rooting is a natural behaviour in pigs and should not be prevented by a painful nose ring.
- Whenever castration of male piglets is necessary, FOUR PAWS supports the use of immunocastration to avoid the use of physical castration.