LFD Holding starts project without tail docking

6th June 2017

In cooperation with one of our customers, LFD Holding launches a pilot project for the breeding and fattening of pigs with undocked ring tails. For pig farmers in Germany, it is important to deal with the issue since the industry faces restrictions for tail docking, in addition to the already agreed castration ban.

However, there is still a lack of economic and practical alternatives. According to scientific evaluations, a prohibition of docking would increase tail biting under usual housing conditions in Germany from three to 60 percent. This is a speculation on the animals’ account: an older animal suffers much more pain from a tail bite than during the docking procedure. In terms of animal welfare, it is therefore important to gather best-practice experience in a timely manner.
For our experiment, we waived the usual tail docking after birth for 300 piglets. At the end of June (week 21/2017) the piglets entered the flat deck. In order to prevent tail biting among the undocked pigs, LFD Holding has taken all common methods. These include additional hemp ropes, the daily feeding with lucerne shreds in separate troughs and the availability of mineral licks. In addition, the animals were held under special observation and care.
Since weaning, our experts have found no differences compared to animals with shorter tails. We will collect and evaluate all information about the breeding process and make it available to our cooperation partner in order to bring the project to a successful conclusion. We will also publish our further experiences in the breeding phase here.