No more unanaesthetised pig castration

Summary

Animal rights organisation Gaia has welcomed news of a ban on the castration of piglets without anaesthetic, announced by public health and animal welfare minister Laurette Onkelinx to coincide with World Animal Day on Friday.

Gaia welcomes news of piglet castration ban

Animal rights organisation Gaia has welcomed news of a ban on the castration of piglets without anaesthetic, announced by public health and animal welfare minister Laurette Onkelinx to coincide with World Animal Day on Friday. The ban includes a “transition period” and only becomes fully operational in 2018.

Piglets are castrated at an early age to avoid a particular smell found when cooking the meat later, found unpleasant by many consumers. Gaia and others have long pointed out that there are other less painful methods for avoiding the smell.

At present, only one retailer in Belgium – Intermarché – still sells meat from castrated piglets. The main supermarket and butcher chains have all either implemented bans of their own or will do so by the end of the year.

“This is a beautiful gift on World Animal Day for the animals and anyone who is concerned about their welfare,” Gaia said in a statement. “For years we have been campaigning for a ban on pig castration.… Of course, we would have liked a shorter transition period, but now there is at least a clear deadline.”