Post-natal development of EEG responses to noxious stimulation in pigs (Sus scrofa) aged 1–15 days

This study examined electroencephalographic (EEG) indices of acute nociception in pigs (Sus scrofa) aged 1, 5, 7, 10, 12 and 15 days, post-natal. Ten pigs per age were anaesthetised with halothane in oxygen and maintained at a light plane of anaesthesia. EEG was recorded bilaterally using a five-electrode montage. Following a 10-min baseline period, tails […]

An ethological definition of animal welfare with special emphasis on pig behaviour


Frequency of nose and tail injuries in cattle and water buffalo at livestock markets in Bangladesh

A total of 560 cattle and water buffalo were examined at livestock markets in Bangladesh. The aim was to assess the frequency of nose and tail injuries that could have occurred during handling and transport. The frequency of nose piercing was 64%, and 69% of the cattle and 54% of the water buffalo had rubbing […]

Behavioural responses of lambs to common painful husbandry procedures

The behavioural responses of groups of 10 lambs were examined for 90min following a range of commonly used husbandry procedures. The treatment groups were, control handling only (control); ear tagging (ET); tail docking by hot docking iron (HD); tail docking by rubber rings (RRT); castration by rubber rings (RRC); tail docking and castration by rubber […]

Tail docking in pigs: acute physiological and behavioural responses

Tail docking of piglets is a routine procedure on farms to control tail-biting behaviour; however, docking can cause an acute stress response. The objectives of this research were to determine the stress responses to tail docking in piglets and to compare two methods of tail docking; cautery iron (CAUT) and the more commonly used blunt […]

The effect of tail docking on the welfare of pigs housed under challenging conditions

This study was performed to investigate the effect of tail docking in the weaner and finishing phase in 448 heavy pigs (slaughtered at 40 weeks of age and 170 kg) reared under challenging conditions that were previously considered as risk factors for tail biting (e.g., male gender, high stocking density, fully slatted floor and poor […]

Behavioural differences between weaner pigs with intact and docked tails

Tail-biting in pigs (Sus scrofa) reduces welfare and production. Tail-docking reduces (but does not eliminate) tail-biting damage. The reason tail-docking reduces tail damage is unknown. It may reduce pigs attraction to tails (H1), or increase tails’ sensitivity to investigation (H2). To investigate these hypotheses, behavioural differences between 472 individually marked grower pigs with intact tails […]

Standardising the assessment of environmental enrichment and tail-docking legal requirements for finishing pigs in Europe

An online training package providing a concise synthesis of the scientific data underpinning EU legislation on enrichment and tail-docking of pigs was produced in seven languages, with the aim of improving consistency of professional judgements regarding legislation compliance on farms. In total, 158 participants who were official inspectors, certification scheme assessors and advisors from 16 […]

Docking piglet tails: How much does it hurt and for how long?

Tail docking in pigs has the potential for evoking short- as well as long-term physiological and behavioural changes indicative of pain. Nonetheless, the existing scientific literature has thus far provided somewhat inconsistent data on the intensity and the duration of pain based on varying assessment methodologies and different post-procedural observation times. In this report we […]