Gé Backus presented an overview of the work of the international voluntary subgroup on ending piglet castration on the June 16th meeting of the European Animal Welfare Platform. He concluded that although there are still some open ends, ending castration is a potential win-win-win issue: for the animal, for the farmer and for the environment.
Ending piglet castration in the EU results in a lower footprint of in total 4.4 million ton CO2 equivalents per year. Producing boars instead of barrows results in a better feed utilization and thus a lower footprint. The estimated carbon footprint of entire male pigs ranged from 3.57 to 4.00 kg CO2 equivalents per kg live wight, and from 3.93 to 4.28 kg CO2 equivalents per kg live weight for castrated male pigs. This equals to 300.000 ha land use annually saved.
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