PIGCAS (Attitudes, practices and state of the art regarding piglet castration in Europe) is to our knowledge the first project that has focused on castration practice across European countries (European Union minus Bulgaria, Malta and Romania, plus Norway and Switzerland). About 250 million pigs are slaughtered in Europe each year. Of the 125 million male pigs, approximately 20% are left entire, less than 3% are castrated with anaesthesia and the rest is castrated without anaesthesia. The study identified large variations in castration procedures, both within and between countries. In females, castration is very rare, but is practiced without anaesthesia in special breeds/production systems in some of the southern countries.
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