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Piglet castration is a topic that is of great concern. I believe farm animal practices are grossly overlooked when it comes to animal welfare. In addition, the castration of other farm animals, such as cattle and sheep, has greatly decreased in most countries due to the higher demand for lean meat that is produced by intact males of these species. However, the rearing of entire male pigs is less common because of its association with boar-taint. This leads to, in most countries, the castration of all male piglets except those kept for breeding. That’s a lot of pigs and a lot of unnecessary suffering!
Castration of pigs is almost always done with no anesthesia or analgesia, and has been a proven painful and stressful practice for the pigs. There is a need for an alternative solutions to this procedure which is done for the benefit of humans while causing suffering to the animals. This raises many ethical questions, as you will learn about on the following pages.
Also, pigs are really cute… just look!