Investigation of Translactational Analgesia for Reducing Piglet Pain at Castration
Painful livestock procedure concern is increasing, with one of pig productions key issues being castration of piglets. Castration is done in male piglets to avoid ‘boar taint’ which is the development of undesirable odours that can occur in the meat of adult boars. Piglet castration is typically done without analgesic use. The main reason for this is the time and cost required to administer pain medication. A more practical and affordable approach is needed to increase adoptability. Analgesic drugs may be able to transfer between the sow and the offspring through the milk. A new behavioural test was developed to asses piglet pain as well that will help further refine and develop pain control techniques. Using Metacam® in the sow did not effectively transfer the drug to the piglets through the milk as the concentration was greatly reduced. Modifying the drug or using other analgesics may help increase the transfer to pigs.