Why can't we eat boar meat?
Boar meat - part 1: basic knowledge
3.1. Castration under anesthesia
3.1.1. Castration under anesthesia
In surgical castration under (general) anesthesia, the procedure is carried out with complete elimination of pain. In Germany, such anesthesia must be carried out by a veterinarian in accordance with Section 5 of the Animal Welfare Act, as this also affects the piglet's perception and sensitivity. The method is therefore relatively time-consuming and associated with higher costs.
The active ingredients ketamine and azaperone, which can be used in combination for injection anesthesia during piglet castration, are approved for use in pigs. The anesthesia is safe and effective, but it is accompanied by a longer period of sleep (3 to 4 hours). This increases the risk of cooling down and being crushed. Missing suckling acts in the mother sow can also have a negative effect on the piglets' vitality. The costs of medication and the consultation of the veterinarian are given as around € 2.00 per animal.
Another possibility to castrate the piglets under anesthesia is the inhalation anesthesia with the short-acting isoflurane. The advantage of this anesthesia is that the piglets wake up quickly (only about 2 minutes' sleep), so that neither the piglets cool down nor the suckling behavior is impaired is to be feared. The isoflurane anesthesia is associated with higher costs (approx. € 2 to € 6 per piglet), since a considerable amount of equipment (anesthesia machine) is required. To relieve postoperative pain, the piglets must also be given an analgesic before the procedure. Isoflurane has not yet been approved for use in pigs, but there is the possibility of so-called rededication with a minimum waiting time for edible tissue of 28 days under certain veterinary drug law requirements.
For the sake of completeness, local anesthesia should also be mentioned - in contrast to the above, the corresponding drugs affect Methods only eliminate pain and not the ability to perceive and feel and therefore do not need to be used by a veterinarian (see Section 5, Paragraph 1, Clause 4 of the TierSchG). From a scientific point of view, however, the possibility of castration under local anesthesia is not an alternative to the previous practice, since neither the injection into the testicles nor into the scrotum or spermatic cord leads to a reduction in the pain-related stress reaction during castration. The external (topical) application of (cold) sprays or creams also does not lead to the required reduction in castration pain.
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