Federation of Veterinarians of Europe: immunocastration of pigs should be allowed in organic production
The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, representing 300,000 veterinarians from 40 countries, released today a new position paper urging the EU Commission’s Standing Committee for Organic Farming to reconsider a previous opinion and accept that immunocastration complies with the principles of organic farming of pigs.
The main reasons for this are:
- Immunocastration is better for animal welfare than surgical castration, which is regularly used in organic farming
- Immunocastration is similar to other treatments, widely accepted in organic farming, that work on the immune system such as vaccinations
- Immunocastration is not a hormone treatment and does not carry a risk for hormonal residues
Eurogroup for Animals supports this call. Our position is that rearing entire male pigs (boars) is the preferred option as it respects the physical integrity of the animals. However, when keeping boars is not possible, immunocastration is preferable to surgical castration, which is still largely practised by the organic pig sector.
We agree with the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe: painful procedures such as the surgical castration of piglets should have no place in organic farming, considering that there are painless and safe alternatives that are compatible with a vision of sustainable animal agriculture and with the expectations of consumers.