Pig tail-docking ban floated by EU Commission


Declan O'Brien, Independent (Ireland) 

November 29 2018


The routine tail-docking of pigs by farmers must be stopped, the EU Commission has insisted.


In a recent letter to pig producers, the Department of Agriculture warned that it would be inspecting units to monitor compliance with the new regulations.


The Commission's actions follow on from a recent gathering of pig farmers and experts at Grange which dealt with the "successful rearing of pigs with intact tails".


"At the meeting the EU Commission sent out a clear message that all routine tail-docking of pigs must be stopped," the Department letter stated.


"Action must be taken immediately by pig producers to meet the requirements as set out in EU and National legislation.


"The Commission has indicated that it will be monitoring farmers' compliance over the coming year…


"DAFM inspectors will carry out a series of welfare checks on pig farms to verify efforts are being made to comply with the legislation."


Inspectors will also take note of farmers' compliance with stocking density regulations and the provision of enrichment material.


Under the new regulations it is also a requirement that pig farms carry out a risk assessment on tail biting on their farms for 2019.


Reacting ...