Responsibly reducing pig tail biting

Similar to castration of newborn piglets, tail docking is considered as an unwanted mutilation. The most important reason for tail docking is to prevent tail biting among pigs at a later age. There is a substantial need to identify the risk factors for tail biting and practical measures in order to reduce the need for tail docking of young piglets.


The project aims to:

  1. Assess farmer perceptions concerning (risk factors of) tail biting and their attitudes towards transition (to stop tail docking).

  2. Developing a possible strategy to solve the tail biting problem.
  3. Evaluate prevalences of tailbiting and risk factors in regular farming.
  4. Determine the effectiveness of various strategies on farms with tail biting problems or the ambition to stop tail docking.
  5. Communication of results and success stories during the course of the project.

This project will gain insight in the prevalence of tail biting and tail biting risk factors in the Dutch pig industry and if and how the need for tail docking can be reduced.


  • Communication on survey (Farmer attitudes towards tail docking and tail biting)
  • Strategy of/with stakeholders
  • Designing solutions to support on-farm protocols
  • On-farm assistance
  • (international) collaboration
  • Communication