Tail biting and tail docking

Routine tail docking, although banned in the EU, is persistent in conventional pig farming as it reduces the risk of tail biting. Tail biting is an abnormal behaviour of pigs related to suboptimal housing and/or management involving stress and reduced welfare. It is associated with an inability to perform species-specific behaviours related to exploration (enrichment) and searching for food (rooting).
Pen enrichment - © WUR
Source photo: © WUR

About this dossier

Table of contents



Tools for welfare inspection

Inspiring examples

For good practices of implementation of EU legislation, seen in a full systems context, inspiring examples and demonstrators are identified. The examples of commercial farms given here address some good practices regarding keeping pigs with intact tails. Demonstration of good practices are excellent ways and proven methods of dissemination of knowledge, exchanging ideas, harmonizing assessments, and changing attitudes.

Active stall fatteners: Adequate enrichment - Smart4Life


First aid for tail biting Adequate enrichment - BZL


Training courses


Comment on this dossier, or do you have a question about Tail biting and tail docking? Leave a comment or contact us.