The stress from factory farming causes unnatural behaviour in pigs. Pigs are intelligent animals that need mental stimulation. So in a cramped environment where there is nothing to do and all they see are other pigs, they develop what are known as ‘pig vices’. They bite one another on the tails. Not for any malicious purpose, just because they’re stressed and it’s something to do. It’s the only thing there is to do. Once this behaviour starts, it spreads quickly and can present risks of infection. So to curb any ‘pig vices’, the factory farms will tail dock and teeth clip.
Tail docking is carried out on piglets without anaesthetic. They are just held still and the tail is cut off with a pair of pliers. A horrifically cruel practice where the farmers carry out the very activity they are seeking to avoid. “Let’s cause a huge amount of pain to this piglet, so there’s no chance of it suffering a little bit of pain later on.” Yeah. That makes sense.
Teeth clipping is even more horrible. Again, without any anaesthetic, they use the same pliers to snip off the piglet’s teeth. Just pause for a moment and consider how horrible that sounds. And I’m totally serious. Just check this NSW government website if you don’t believe me. This is standard operating procedure for pig farms.
The teeth clipping is also supposedly to prevent sow’s teats from being bitten.
You might be thinking that these are necessary procedures because without them the pigs will injure each other. The thing is, these only happen in factory farms. It’s only in this environment where the pigs are so stressed as to resort to negative behaviours like biting each other.
Tail docking and teeth clipping aren’t done in free range and natural pig farms because they don’t need to. Pigs aren’t naturally violent towards each other. They’re social animals.
There’s really no justification for tail docking and teeth clipping. All that is needed to avoid ‘pig vices’ is a better environment for the pigs. Why not solve the overarching problem instead of just adding to it by mutilating the poor animals?
It’s just another reason to choose free range over factory farmed.
Choose free range and help make a change.