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PORC. Castration « indispensable » en Siqo, selon les filières du Sud

By April 21, 2021May 5th, 2021No Comments

Document type : Article by Union Paysanne 19

Preview: Although the live castration of piglets will be banned from the beginning of 2022, four regional inter-professional groups in southern France have stated that this operation, performed under anaesthesia, will remain "indispensable" for sectors operating under the official Siqo quality label.  Castration "allows us to meet the quality requirements for the meat", said the IPR (Nouvelle-Aquitaine), Midi Porc (Occitanie), the IPA (Auvergne Limousin) and Interporc (Rhône-Alpes) in a letter sent to Inaporc, the national interprofessional group, in August 2020. […]

The industry's southern members are therefore asking Inaporc, which has launched a national working group on castration, to "take their position into account from a political viewpoint", but also to "broadcast it widely to administrative and political bodies". Despite the ban on castration from 1 January 2022, some farmers will be able to continue the practice of castration but must use both anaesthesia and analgesia (for the management of post-operative pain). This exemption will be set out in detail in an informative from the French Minister for Agriculture. The document has aroused much anticipation given the complexity of the process. The interprofessional groups from southern France are also pressing for the sector to 'set up a research and development programme'. For its part, the New Aquitaine interprofession has already launched its own 'test protocol with the National Veterinary School of Toulouse', according to M. Moureu. The purpose of this is to find 'castration techniques that are compatible with respect for animal welfare', say the southern industry members. In deciding on techniques for investigation, they have ruled out immunocastration, which, they say, 'appears not to meet consumer expectations'.

An extra cost of "8 to 10 euros" per pig

At national level, the balance of opinion seems to favour a complete end to castration, bringing savings in both time and finanancial expenses for farmers.  In the absence of a market for their produce, however, a small number of farmers wiil have to continue the practice of castration and how this is performed remains a sensitive issue. Whatever method is finally chosen, the additional cost could be as much as  "8 to 10 euros according to Ifip", warns Pierre Moureu. We are going to start negotiations to make the downstream sector aware of these additional costs," adds the Béarnais producer. There are discussions that need to be had to ensure that farmers don't end up being the ones to suffer."

In the South-West, negotiations are planned with the downstream industry

"Our downstream players are very clear: they want castrated pigs," says Moureu. At national level, Culture Viande's abattoirs have the same concerns as the southern industry over meat quality and are campaigning for castration to continue. "To date, no alternative to live castration has been put on the table," Culture Viande said in a press release dated 25 March. It also warned of the "gamble" that is being taken on uncastrated male pigs, "without taking the time to measure the long-term consequences for the entire industry". Five days later, the FNP (pig farmers and the FNSEA) clarified its position.  The press release quotes its president, François Valy, who recalls the words of Jean-Paul Bigard, former president of Culture Viande: "If "not a single whole male is going to enter my abattoirs, there will be a price to pay, in terms of product quality and time invested!"

From the Union paysanne 19 website