Plan of action for the pig docking waiver

The Animal Protection Act prohibits “the complete or partial amputation of body parts (…) of a vertebrate animal”. With regard to current pig farming practice, the docked curly tail is referred to here. Every pig farmer who keeps docked animals must submit an ‘animal owner’s declaration’ to the authorities.

Nationwide “Plan of action for tail docking” provides for the gradual end of tail docking

Every pig farmer who keeps docked animals must submit the so-called “animal owner’s declaration” to the competent authority by 01/07/2019. The declaration is valid for 1 year.

This contains among other things

  • an individual risk analysis for each farm
  • the documentation of ear and tail injuries
  • proposals for optimisation measures
  • an assessment of selected risk factors.

šŸ’”šŸ§ Worth knowing! Tail docking (shortening) of a curly tail is intended to reduce or prevent mutual tail biting, as this can lead to inflammation and cause pain, suffering and damage to the animal.

Various options

1. Continue to dock all piglets

With this option, the pig farmer continues to dock ALL piglets and also keeps ONLY docked animals. However, as described above, an animal owner declaration must be submitted for this purpose. However, the scope of the animal owner’s declaration in this case is very broad. A risk analysis must be carried out for each individual farm, if possible even together with the veterinarian or your ActivePro consultant. The number of tail and ear injuries that have occurred among the entire population must also be documented. The slaughterhouse results may be used once, but a sample must also be taken at least twice a year.

Once the data is available, suitable optimisation measures can be taken:

  • If the proportion of injuries is less than or equal to 2%, a proportion of undocked animals shall then be kept (see second option).
  • Anyone who has experienced more than 2% injuries for two years must agree to a plan of action with the competent veterinary office.


2. Introduction of small group of undocked animals

With this option, a small group of docked animals is introduced. They must occupy at least 1% of the available capacity and must also be specially marked (possibly with coloured or separate ear tags). However, even with this method, an animal owner’s declaration must be submitted. However, this is not as extensive as in the case of option 1. In this animal owner’s declaration, only the injuries in the undocked animals must be documented. A risk analysis is only recommended and does not form the main part of the declaration.

Here again, suitable improvement measures can be applied:

  • If the percentage of injuries is less than or equal to 2%, the entry is considered successful and the percentage of undocked animals should be gradually increased
  • If the percentage of injuries exceeds 2%, appropriate optimisation measures should be defined and implemented (as under option 1) in the context of the animal owner’s declaration.

Regulatory compliance schedule

[Source: LGL Bavaria: Schedule of the German action plan for regulatory compliance on tail docking in pigs, as of: August 2018)

As fromĀ  July 1st 2019, only docked fattening pigs may be brought in if at least 2% of the pigs have experienced tail or ear injuries during the previous stages of production (suckling pigs, piglet rearing) or during fattening itself. To this end, it should be possible to exchange animal owner declarations between the various stages of production

Neighbouring countries from which imported piglets are obtained should also be included. Negotiations and talks on this are currently under way.

A template of the animal owner declaration and risk analysis can be found atĀ

Further information on the keeping of undocked pigs can also be found at

Help from ActivePro!

To be sure that you have already implemented all measures for optimal keeping of animals, you should above all control and adjust your rations. For this you can also contact your ActivePro consultant.

Our product recommendation as organic manipulable material is Ā SuperCell. SuperCell can also be used for ad libitum feeding, in separate bowls and feed dispensers. SuperCell’s high-quality ingredients also promote intestinal health and ensure satisfied animals.

ActivePro Sack AlphaEXPERT

ActivePro products for support:

  • Special feed supplement ProtecTailTriotinĀ® for the reduction of necroses and cannibalism
  • Mineral feed with Protectin- complex: Herbs, spices and plant extracts support the body’s natural defences.
  • TriplexSfeed acid inhibits pathogenic germs by lowering the pH value.
  • SuperCell” raw fibre concentrate for manipulation and satisfied animals with a lot of bacterially fermentable matter, can also be offered ad libitum in separate machines/dispensers
  • Mycotoxin binderMycoBond” (also available ab libitum as an emergency measure)
  • Lick stones and licking compounds
  • ProteinMix” for short periods of stress (rehousing and illness): Animals then have an increased need for amino acids.
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