Animal wellbeingCutting pigs’ tails, Luxembourg is lagging behind
LUXEMBOURG – The European Commission has called the Grand Duchy to order on the legislation on the treatment of pigs. The Minister of Agriculture explains.
Partially cutting the tail of pigs, especially piglets, on farms is a prohibited practice when it is not exceptional. Tuesday in a parliamentary question, MP Chantal Gary (déi gréng) recalled that Luxembourg had been singled out by the European Commission, which deemed it non-compliant on this question of tail docking. In August 2020, European authorities even indicated that only Finland and Sweden applied the ban.
“There have been no specific checks relating to the partial section of the piglets’ tails”, replies the Minister of Agriculture, Claude Haagen, referring to the last five years. And since there is a derogation which makes tail docking possible in the event of injuries to animals, “it is very difficult to note breaches of the regulations”. In any case, “violations are not sanctioned by a fine”.
“Projects will be initiated with breeders”
So how to improve the well-being of pigs, slips Chantal Gary? “The current plan provides for a self-assessment of the factors influencing the phenomenon” of bites, which could therefore cause the injuries leading to the decision to partially cut the queue. “Housing of pigs, climate in pigsties, food”, must be analyzed, details the minister, “by the breeder in collaboration with his veterinarian”. And the whole process of the treatment of the animal could thus improve.
“Projects will be initiated with breeders”, promises Claude Haagen, which should also make it possible to “detect problem farms at slaughterhouse level”. More broadly, the Luxembourg minister recalls that the problem must be settled at European level and that an action plan has been reworked by the Grand Duchy. “In fattening establishments, piglets often appear from abroad and at this level, it is difficult to find piglets that have not undergone tail docking”, adds Claude Haagen.