Pigs (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock: Pigs (PB7950)

Section 1 - Management

Teeth Clipping/Grinding

The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. 2003 No. 299), Schedule 6, Part II, paragraph 21 states that:

The following procedure shall not be carried out routinely but only where there is evidence that injuries to sows teats or to other pigs ears or tails have occurred

- uniform reduction of corner teeth of piglets by grinding or clipping not later than the seventh day of life of the piglets leaving an intact smooth surface;

but no tooth reduction may be carried out unless other measures to improve environmental conditions or management systems have been taken in order to prevent tail biting or other vices.

87. Routine clipping or grinding of teeth is not permitted. Tooth reduction to the upper and lower corner teeth (eye or canine teeth) of piglets should only be used as a last resort. Your health and welfare plan should identify circumstances where tooth reduction may be necessary. These might include large litter size, cross fostering, gilts and poor milk let down such as mastitis.
88. Where tooth reduction is to be carried out, it may not always be necessary for the whole litter. Where it is necessary, it should be carried out before the seventh day of life, in accordance with the law, by a trained and competent operator or by a veterinary surgeon. Suitable sharp, clean clippers or an appropriate grinder should be used. All equipment used should be cleaned and disinfected between pigs. Teeth grinders are recommended as there is a reduced risk of shattering the teeth.
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