France to ban piglet castration without anesthesia and analgesia

Source:, 23 November 2021, photo credit: MedicineNet

As of January 1, 2022, castration of piglets in France must be performed painlessly under anesthesia and analgesia.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food has published a ministerial order and a technical instruction specifying the conditions under which domestic male pigs may be castrated on farms for purposes other than therapeutic or diagnostic

The technical instruction from the General Directorate of Food (DGAL) clarifies the modalities for the implementation of the ban. In order to provide technical support to farmers and veterinarians, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food has created an online resource center:

  • data sheets with protocols for local anesthesia and analgesia that were the product of consultations with scientists and professional representatives and agreed upon by the interested parties,
  • articles detailing the studies that served as support for the protocols and
  • regulatory texts.

This information will be complemented at the end of November with a distance training module. Beyond the effective implementation of the new castration protocols, the collective success of ending castration without the use of anesthesia and analgesia starting January 1, 2022 depends on covering the additional costs that these methods entail for farmers.

Thus, the ministerial decree, based on animal welfare regulations, provides economic security for farmers. Castration will be conditional on the existence of a quality label or the signing of an Egalim2 contract guaranteeing that production costs are taken into account. The exceptions provided for by the Egalim2 law also apply: direct sale, small farms, etc. It thus reinforces the provisions of the Egalim2 law regarding mandatory contractualization. In particular, the contract will be the basis for commercial negotiation and will take into account production costs and, therefore, the additional costs associated with castration.
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.