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Study and economic analysis of the costs and benefits of ending surgical castration of pigs

Project summary:
The main objectives of the study were to identify, analyse and compare the costs and benefits of three options for producing pig meat in the EU: Option 1: Production of pig meat from surgically castrated male pigs; Sub-option 1a: when surgical castration of male piglets less than 7 days old is performed without anaesthesia or analgesia; Sub-option 1b: when surgical castration of male pigs at any age is performed with analgesia and/or anaesthesia; Option 2: Production of pig meat from entire male pigs taking into account their final weight at slaughter; Option 3: Production of pig meat from male pigs vaccinated against boar taint taking into account their final weight at slaughter. Covering the whole pig meat chain in the EU from breeding and raising pigs to the consumption of pig meat, the study compared the costs and benefits for each option and analysed how they are shared between all the relevant actors, allowing for a calculation of the overall costs and benefits of each of the three options. In addition, this involved for each option an estimation of the costs and benefits of ending surgical castration on four different percentages of male piglets' population in the EU by 1 January 2018: 25%, 50%, 75% and 95%.

Client/Financing Institution:
European Commission, DG SANCO

Year:
01/2013 – 11/2013