July 5, 2021

Study finds action to completely stop tail docking in Netherlands premature



A study by Wageningen Livestock Research and Utrecht University concludes it is too early to stop tail docking entirely in the Netherlands.


The study was commissioned and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture and the Pig Breeders Association (POV).


According to the study, the complexity of the topic leads to increased costs which the farmer cannot bear without additional financial help. Training in observing the risk of tail biting behavior will help in the success of the practice. Immediate recognition and equally immediate action helps prevent tail biting cases, the study states.


Following these developments, all actors — pig farmers, farmers, slaughterhouses, retailers and the government — in the supply chain need to be involved in improving the welfare aspects of pigs, acquiring more knowledge about behaviors and actions to be taken; specific training for risk recognition and early intervention; and financial compensation due to increased costs required and to support any reduced production.


- Wageningen University & Research (Netherlands)