AASV Position Statement: Tail Docking and Teeth Clipping of Swine

Tail docking is performed to reduce tail biting and cannibalism among pigs. Tail docking should be performed early and sufficiently prior to weaning such that no open wounds remain at the time of weaning. Clean, sharp equipment must be used to minimize pain and risk of infection.

Teeth clipping is a management tool performed only when necessary to prevent trauma to littermates’ faces and the sow’s underline by piglets’ sharp canine teeth when competing for a teat. Alternative management practices, including those that reduce the need for piglet movement between litters, should be employed when possible to reduce the need for teeth clipping. When necessary, teeth clipping should be performed early and prior to weaning. Clean, sharp equipment must be used to minimize pain and risk of infection.

Approved by the AASV Board of Directors on October 3, 2013
Reaffirmed by the AASV Board of Directors on March 30, 2015