The challenge of tail-biting is one with which the industry has been grappling for years with no solution found. Now, AHDB Pork, the RSPCA (RSPCA Assured) and the University of Helsinki have joined forces to produce and distribute a questionnaire aimed at tackling tail-biting.
It is going to producers in both the UK and in Finland where tail docking is banned to give us some valid comparisons and we are seeking the help of pig producers in the UK to provide some data.
AHDB Pork health and welfare projects manager Katja Stoddart said: All results and findings will be reported anonymously to provide better information to producers on tail management and tail-related issues. “The information will be shared with the Pig Health and Welfare Council (PHWC) – an industry body which brings together industry and government to share and exchange knowledge and information. The findings will also be compared and exchanged with those reported by Finnish producers.”
The Finns have given a presentation on pig husbandry without tail reduction to the European Commission.
Pig tail-docking has been banned completely in Finland since 2002. In almost all the other EU countries the tails of pigs are docked to prevent tail biting. Finland has invested in factors that contribute to the welfare of pigs, such as enrichment, suitable flooring, adequate feeding, stocking density and health care.
A questionnaire has been sent out to a number of producers but anybody who would like to take part can do so online by following this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/taildamage