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Katja Stoddart

Health & Welfare Manager

AHDB Pork KE

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Email Katja

T: work 024 7647 8796

M: cell 07875 306 905

Teeth & Tails

Home \ Health & Welfare \ Welfare \ Teeth & Tails

Tail biting is an undesirable behaviour, or vice, that can occur in any group of pigs. It can spread quickly in pig pens once it has started and can have devastating effects.  Tail biting negatively affects the welfare of pigs because it can lead to painful tail injuries, infection, spinal abscesses and lameness.

Risk factors for tail biting:

  •         Inappropriate ventilation
  •         Insufficient enrichment
  •         Overstocking
  •         Health problems
  •         Competition for food/drink 

A report published by EFSA looked at the multiple interactions between risk factors and welfare consequences, with a focus on tail biting and the absence of functional environmental enrichment. The report can be downloaded here.