Next Article in Journal
Behavioural Differences in Dogs with Atopic Dermatitis Suggest Stress Could Be a Significant Problem Associated with Chronic Pruritus
Next Article in Special Issue
A Review of the Effects of Non-Straw Enrichment on Tail Biting in Pigs
Previous Article in Journal
Serum Concentrations of AMH and E2 and Ovarian and Uterine Traits in Gilts
Previous Article in Special Issue
Damaging Behaviour and Associated Lesions in Relation to Types of Enrichment for Finisher Pigs on Commercial Farms
Open AccessReview

Rearing Pigs with Intact Tails—Experiences and Practical Solutions in Sweden

1
Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), P.O.B. 234, S-532 23 Skara, Sweden
2
Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), P.O.B 7023, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
3
Farm and Animal Health (Gård&Djuhälsan), Uddetorp Röda huset, S-532 96 Skara, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(10), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100812
Received: 2 September 2019 / Revised: 6 October 2019 / Accepted: 9 October 2019 / Published: 15 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tail Biting in Pigs―Aetiology, Risk Factors and Solutions)
Tail biting is a common problem within modern pig production and is mainly an indicator of poor housing environment where the behavioural needs of pigs are not met. Tail biting causes pain and can result in infection, leading to reduced pig growth and reduced farm profits. In order to prevent tail biting, pigs are often tail docked, without pain relief, within the first week of life. The EU Directive condemns routine tail docking and advises that tail biting can be prevented through improving the environment of pigs. In Sweden, tail docking is banned and all pigs are reared with intact tails. This paper summarises knowledge from Swedish production of undocked pigs and describes practical solutions in use in Sweden that can be applied to pig production in other EU Member States. Housing conditions and management within Swedish pig production, such as stocking density and feeding space, differ in many aspects from those in other EU countries. To prevent tail biting and eliminate the need for tail docking, EU legislation should more clearly match with the biological needs of pigs.
Tail biting is a common issue within commercial pig production. It is mainly an indicator of inadequate housing environment and results in reduced health welfare and production. To reduce the impact of tail biting, pigs are commonly tail docked, without pain relief, within the first week of life. EU Council Directive 2008/120/EC prohibits routine tail docking, but the practice is still widely used in many Member States. Sweden has banned tail docking since 1988 and all pigs have intact tails, yet tail biting is a minor problem. This paper summarises and synthesises experimental findings and practical expertise in production of undocked pigs in Sweden and describes solutions to facilitate a transition to producing pigs with intact tails within intensive pig production in the EU. Swedish pig housing conditions and management differ in many aspects from those in other EU Member States. Swedish experiences show that lower stocking density, provision of sufficient feeding space, no fully slatted flooring, strict maximum levels for noxious gases and regular provision of litter material are crucial for success when rearing pigs with intact tails. To prevent tail biting and to eliminate the need for tail docking, we strongly recommend that EU legislation should more clearly match the biological needs of pigs, as is done in Swedish legislation. View Full-Text
Keywords: welfare; swine; tail-docking; tail-biting welfare; swine; tail-docking; tail-biting
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Wallgren, T.; Lundeheim, N.; Wallenbeck, A.; Westin, R.; Gunnarsson, S. Rearing Pigs with Intact Tails—Experiences and Practical Solutions in Sweden. Animals 2019, 9, 812.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop