Reducing tail docking in the Netherlands

On April 4, 2014 the Dutch Secretary State of Economic Affairs, Sharon Dijksma, reported to the Dutch parliament the following on the issues of tail docking and tail biting in pigs:
Firstly, research has been commissioned on tail biting and tail docking in pigs (2013-2017).
Secondly, steps have been taken to reduce tail docking in practice (Van Dekken, 28286, nr. 666).
The House of Parliament has asked the government to negotiate an end date for tail docking together with the stakeholders who signed the Declaration Dalfsen.
Since early 2013 the European Commission is working on a plan to address routine docking of piglets at the European level. In parallel, the Dutch pig sector organisations LTO and NVV, and the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animal together drafted and signed the Declaration of Dalfsen, which was presented on June 10, 2013. The Declaration focuses on the prevention of biting , the gradual reduction of short tail docking, leading finally to the responsible ending of the practice of tail docking . It is a process in which partners have expressed trust in each other. These are important steps in the right direction. The Animal Welfare policy note states that the declaration is endorsed and supported by the funding of research. In about two years this research is likely to provide insight if and which promising solutions exist. At that point in time more will be known about the progress made at the European level. At that time the Secretary of State and the partners of the declaration will determine a realistic deadline to responsibly stop the tail docking of pigs.
Finally, as to the strict compliance of the EC Directive on pig welfare in Europe (Ouwehand, TK 21501-32, nr. 750): The House of Parliament has asked the government insist that the European Commission will move towards strict enforcement of animal welfare guidelines and reports on compliance in the Member States. This is related to signs of non-compliance of the Directive by several Member States and more specifically in the areas of tail docking and the routing filing of canine teeth.
With a view to improving the implementation and enforcement of the Directive lying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs (2008/120/EC), the Commission – partly based on the Dutch request – started the development of guidelines supplementing the Directive, including a guideline on tail docking. These guidelines (which are expected to be completed this year) are expected to improve enforcement and compliance.

Pig on arm
Piglet on arm