Piglet Castration Federal Council decides on the future of sow keeping

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, September 19, 2019
This decision will point the way for the future development of sow husbandry and piglet rearing in Germany.
Photo: pixabay/Ehrecke
This decision will point the way for the future development of sow husbandry and piglet rearing in Germany.

On Friday the Federal Council will decide whether sow farmers will be allowed to perform isoflurane anaesthesia for piglet castration themselves in the future. The current veterinary reservation will thus be lifted and farmers will be able to perform the anaesthesia themselves. This decision will point the way for the future development of sow husbandry and piglet rearing in Germany.

If it remains the case that only veterinarians are allowed to carry out isoflurane anaesthesia, this path will not be economically feasible for most farms. It is to be expected that many German sow farmers will then give up and piglet production will migrate to neighbouring Member States where there are approved stunning methods for farmers.

An alternative to stunning is boar fattening with and without vaccination against boar odour. However, the experience of slaughterhouses shows that many customers do not accept boar meat because of its specific characteristics. This means that the sales opportunities for both boar and Improvac boar meat are very limited. This applies all the more, the smaller a slaughterhouse is and the fewer sales channels the company has. Even traditional sales markets in neighbouring countries cannot be served with boar meat because it is not used for the production of raw ham and raw sausage.

As a result, it can be assumed that castration with anaesthesia will have to prevail in the coming years in order to maintain the functionality of the German pork market. This can only succeed if the farmer is given stunning procedures that he can apply himself.

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