Ban Cruel, Painful, and Unnecessary Castrations of Piglets

Target: Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety

Goal: Ban unnecessary and inhumane surgical procedures for pigs, including non-medically needed castrations, tail dockings, and teeth grinding.

Undercover footage from Italy appears to show pigs raised for making parma ham being subjected to squalid living conditions and a host of painful surgical procedures. However, the farm owners will likely not be penalized for docking the pigs’ tails, castrating all male piglets, or grinding down their teeth to prevent biting, as all these unnecessary and painful operations are currently legal in the European Union (EU).

The tail dockings, castrations, and teeth grinding are all intended to modify the pigs’ behavior. When kept in cramped conditions, pigs are known to bite and injure one another, frequently nipping at the tails in particular. Unfortunately, rather than improving living conditions, farm workers find it far more convenient to burn or cut off the pigs’ tails, and to have their teeth clipped or ground away. All these procedures are done with the pigs still conscious, and with little to dull the pain experienced afterward.

Pigs who are behaving in an unnatural and aggressive manner thanks to their improper living conditions must not be made to endure further inhumane treatment. Sign the petition below to urge the EU to ban these unnecessary procedures.


Dear Commissioner Andriukaitis,

As the European Union’s representative for health and food safety, you have a responsibility to ensure that all animals raised for human consumption are treated humanely. With the recent revelation that pigs used in the parma ham industry are forced to live in filthy stalls and are regularly subjected to painful tail dockings, teeth grinding, and castrations, it is vital that you act immediately. While the farm owners must be penalized for keeping the pigs in illegal conditions, these medically unnecessary procedures must also be banned.

When kept in spacious living environments, there is no need to reduce aggression in pigs by clipping or grinding their teeth to prevent biting, or removing their tails so that they cannot be injured. Male piglets do not need to be castrated to reduce aggression or to eliminate boar taint when these are easily prevented through other means. That is why I hope that you will address this larger animal welfare issue and ban these procedures in all hog farming operations.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Liz West

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  1. Cynthia Mattera says:

    Pure torture for these newborns…stop it!

  2. Agree all do it to the bastards that do this

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