Journal article

Tail Docking of Piglets 1: Stress Response of Piglets to Tail Docking

Rebecca Morrison, Paul Hemsworth

Animals | MDPI | Published : 2020


This experiment assessed the efficacy of the cauterisation procedure with or without pain relief (injectable meloxicam) in mitigating the acute stress response to tail docking. Male piglets (n = 432) were allocated to the following treatments at 2-d post-farrowing: (1) no handling, (2) sham handling, (3) tail docked using clippers, (4) tail docked using a cauteriser, (5) meloxicam + clipper, and (6) meloxicam + cauteriser. Meloxicam treatments used Metacam® at 5 mg/mL injected i.m. 1 h prior to tail docking. Blood samples were collected at 15 and 30 min post-treatment and analysed for total plasma cortisol. Behaviours indicative of pain such as escape attempts, vocalisations and standing wit..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Pork Limited

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was funded by Australian Pork Limited (Project 2010-1018).