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Castration of male pigs

According to current EU rules, piglets may be castrated without anaesthesia within the first week of life. Recommended instruments are ascalpel or sharp castration forceps and scissors.

Piglets can be held firmly head-down between the legs of the operator, held on a flat bench, restrained in a v-trough or in a commercial device. However, restraint of the piglet is recommended, to leave both hands free.

The spermatic cords may not be torn, but must be cut well below the testicles, although some variations exist in the methods that are used. Before making the incision, the instruments and the skin area should be disinfected (Christiansen, 2004).

Castration of young piglets is performed very rapidly and the process, including the time for catching the animal, may take less than 30 seconds (Prunier et al., 2006).

Routinely performed surgical castration of piglets. Source: Johanna Zingmark.