Pigs become one of most the highest demand of livestock. Although not everyone able to eat it (most of the time due religious and cultural belief), no one could deny that pig’ meat was become so many people favorite. However, so many other familiar livestock farms you already knew such as farm sheep, water crab farm, goat farm and the most popular and the largest livestock around the world chickens and ducks farms. Everyone have their own favorite; pigs might quite popular in Asia (especially Southeast Asia), but it’s not the case in other continent, people.
There is one weird and cruel pig farming method used by many factory farms around the world called tail docking. Actually, it’s not only happened to pigs but some of the cattle too – but yes, most frequently was pigs. Can you guess what tail docking is? Yes, those farms literally cut off pigs’ tails to prevent pigs’ habit that occurred only in domesticated pigs. What kind of habit? Apparently, those poor pigs was highly stressed due the improper environment provided by the farm (which is often too crowded).
This unhealthy environment pushed piggies to have an abnormal habit of biting another pig’ tail. The wound that occurred by this incident was leads to several health issues in pigs – the worst is death. Therefore, this people (breeders) without trying to search another options to solve the problem, they toke the easiest way to prevent these piggies from biting each other tail by amputate the tails. Biting habit was solved, but what would happen to those pigs? What about the welfare of those pigs?
The most surprising thing is this method not only executed for adult pigs, but also the piglets. Do you ever think what would happen if piglet found their tails cut off by those people?
Tail Docking in Piglets
What would happen if piglets found their tails cut off? Actually, my friends, there is no study made about did piglets realize that their tails has been cut off, but there’s a lot of research has been reviled about further effect of piglets’ tails docking. Now, the docking tail was a very common procedure in pigs’ industry to prevent future problem of tail-biting behavior. Most of the cases, the tail docking was done in young pigs or commonly called as piglets. A researcher from Newcastle University in UK, Dr. Pierpaolo Di Giminiani explain that pigs’ tail is no less or more sensitive than other part of pigs’ body part.
Although pigs’ tail didn’t have important role except chase some insects away from pig’ boy, but you have to know: pigs’ tail structures was fulled of neuro-anatomical systems that responsible to pig’s response of pain. In human, pig’ tail was comparable to human’ skin. So, there’s a potential that those piglets didn’t realize that their tails has been cut off, but, they endure a long effect of the tail docking process. What kind of effect occurred to piglets that has been through tail docking?
For your note, this amputation occurred without anaesthetic; and this normally happened when the piglets around three or four days old. Unfortunately, due this cruel action, piglets are suffered by massive pain which is leads to acute trauma of pain. If being handled improperly, this wound potentially leads to infection and the scariest thing is in some cases leave to lasting discomfort to the adulthood. There’s a fact you need to understand so you are able to see this case in wide range of scale.
The tail-biting behavior only occurred in domesticated pigs (industrial pigs) because it effected by unhealthy environment of the factory farms itself. The farm cannot prove proper space for the pigs; the farm was too crowded and due the level off stress, pigs channel this “uncomfortable” environmental to this deviant behaviors. Let’s take one example for the case that occurred in Italy. Due the law regulation of pig’ tail docking, this method only approved if the factories didn’t have another option to stop the tail-biting behavior that happened in their farm.
But, the real question is how does these factories even able to face the deviant behavior of pigs if they already cut off the piglets’ tails when they were only five days old? You decide it, my friends. The piglets may not know what happen to their tails, but their bodies would always remember that terrify pain in that dark day.