Prohibition against tail docking - pork
Tail docking, which entails the removal of part or all of a pig's tail, is a painful procedure that can cause chronic pain and/or infection. Following the procedure, the stub becomes extremely sensitive to touch, as so-called traumatic neuroma occurs. The purpose of tail docking is usually to avoid tail biting but can lead to other parts of the body, such as the ears and legs, being injured instead.1 Requirements that forbid tail docking can help to reduce the prevalence of routine tail docking an unnecessary pain for the pigs.
- Technical specification
Pork must be produced from animals whose tails have not been removed for preventative purposes, such as to avoid tail injuries. A pig's tail may only be treated for medical reasons, and the procedure may only be performed by a veterinarian.
Upon request the supplier shall be ready to present, for example, one of the following:
- Certification that meets the requirement, such as IP gris grundcertifiering [IP Pig base level certification], a Bedre Dyrevelfaerd label with a level of at least one heart, Antonius certification, or other certification showing that the requirement is met.
- Details of country origin of pork ingredients and reference to applicable law in cases where national legislation establishes that the requirement is met, e.g. Origin: Sweden, chapter 4, section 2 of the Animal Welfare Act (2018:1192) and chapter 5, section 2, of D 8, SJVFS (2019:25).
Monitoring of compliance during the contract period can for example be done through sampling at one or several occasions of one or several products for which the criterion applies. The supplier can prove that the product(s) meet the requirement through, e.g,:
- IP gris grundcertifiering [IP Pig base level certification], a Bedre Dyrevelfaerd label with a level of at least one heart, Antonius certification or other certification showing that the requirement is met.
- Labelling the country of origin of pork ingredients, e.g., Origin: Sweden, 'Från Sverige' [From Sweden] or 'Kött från Sverige' [Meat from Sweden], with written documentation, e.g., audit records, showing that the requirement has been met.
- Other written documentation showing that the requirement is met.
Contracting authorities may, in specific cases and when motivated, state in the contract terms that documentation is to be verified or reviewed by an independent third party. What does this mean? (only in Swedish)
Subject matter of contract
Products of pork with environmental and animal protection criteria
Information about the criterion
Market availability may be limited for individual products.
Organic production prohibits tail docking.
Routine tail docking is forbidden according to Council Directive 2008/120/EC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs. An exception is granted in the Directive where there is evidence that the tail is injured. Measures should be taken to improve the production environment and level of occupancy before docking occurs.1 In spite of this, routine tail docking is common in Europe. A survey conducted by the European Commission together with the Federation for Veterinarians of Europe and the European Association of Porcine Health Management revealed that routine tail docking took place in all 24 of the European countries surveyed apart from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Switzerland.2
The version date indicates when the sustainability criterion was created or last updated. Last reviewed dated tells when we last checked that the sustainability criterion still is relevant.
- Current ID
- Version date
2020-03-25: Under any circumstances is deleted from the criterion due to existing exceptions in case of accute danger. Examples of verification and monitoring is extended.