Alternatives to surgical castration of piglets

This paper reports results presented during a session organized at the 68th annual meeting of the EAAP (European Federation of Animal Science) on the theme "Alternatives to surgical castration of piglets without pain relief". The session began with a presentation of the Cost Action IPEMA, which aims to federate the research efforts conducted in Europe. After investigation in 21 European countries, the Castrum project evaluated the available methods for the anesthetizia/analgesia of animals during surgical castration. New results have been presented concerning the control of aggression and mounting behaviours that affect the welfare of entire male pigs. Advances have also been made in the area of boar taint control via genetics, nutrition, animal management or the use of an immunocastration vaccine. Finally, a study conducted within the framework of the Castrum project evaluated the sensitivity of production systems differentiated on product quality to the use of entire male pigs.