Pig welfare – enrichment materials and tail-docking

29 January 2014        


Fiona Hall (ALDE)

EU legislation on the protection of pigs states that pigs should have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of material to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities and also bans routine tail-docking.

The Commission recently stated that in order to ensure that these requirements are being upheld by Member States it would ‘actively assist Member States in the application of these requirements through capacity building’, via the development, in collaboration with Member States, of guidelines on enrichment material for pigs and tail-biting, as well as providing training programmes to build common understandings of the legislative requirements, for both pig producers and Member State authorities.

Does the Commission have any data regarding the compliance rates in Member States with regard to the provision of enrichment materials and the ban on routine tail-docking?

When does the Commission expect the guidelines on enrichment materials and tail-biting to be complete?

14 March 2014


Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

The Commission does not have exact figures on the degree of compliance with enrichment material and avoidance of tail-docking requirements(1). Audits performed by the Food and Veterinary Office of the Commission’s Health and Consumers Directorate General in 2008 and 2009 indicate that these provisions are not met in a majority of the Member States inspected.

The Commission guidelines are foreseen to be finalised this year.

(1) Council Directive 2008/120/EC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs, OJ L 47, 18.2.2009, p. 5.