Ending tail docking and tail biting in the EU - Hazard characterization and exposure assessment of a major pig welfare problem
- Project Dates: November 2013 - November 2016
- Project Leader: Professor Sandra Edwards
- Staff: Dr. Pierpaolo Di Giminiani; Dr. Matt Leach and Ms. Emma Malcolm
- Sponsors: BBSRC/Defra under the EU ANIHWA programme
- Partners: Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University (Denmark); Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki (Finland); French National Institute for Agricultural Research, INRA-UMR PEGASE (France); Department of Animal Welfare, Wageningen UR Livestock Research (Netherlands); Department of Production Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Norway);Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden); SRUC (United Kingdom); Agricultural Research Service's Livestock Behavior Research Unit, United States Department of Agriculture - (United States)
The FareWellDock project is a three-year research project with the overall aim of supplying necessary information for quantitative risk assessment of tail biting and to stimulate the development towards a non-docking situation in the EU. In many countries, tail docking in the first days of life is a common practice in the production of pigs, which leads to immediate behavioural changes indicative of pain. The specific focus of the involved members of IAS is the assessment of both acute and long-term painful conditions arising from tail-docking through several behavioural and physiological measures (e.g. nociception, general home-pen behaviours, and animal facial expressions).
Ultimately, the project will contribute to the wider objective of a staged reduction in tail docking of commercial pigs without associated increase in prevalence of severe tail biting. This will have significant welfare benefits, not only for ~9 million pigs born annually in the UK, but also worldwide.
Find more information on the project homepage.