Know more

Our use of cookies

Cookies are a set of data stored on a user’s device when the user browses a web site. The data is in a file containing an ID number, the name of the server which deposited it and, in some cases, an expiry date. We use cookies to record information about your visit, language of preference, and other parameters on the site in order to optimise your next visit and make the site even more useful to you.

To improve your experience, we use cookies to store certain browsing information and provide secure navigation, and to collect statistics with a view to improve the site’s features. For a complete list of the cookies we use, download “Ghostery”, a free plug-in for browsers which can detect, and, in some cases, block cookies.

Ghostery is available here for free:

You can also visit the CNIL web site for instructions on how to configure your browser to manage cookie storage on your device.

In the case of third-party advertising cookies, you can also visit the following site:, offered by digital advertising professionals within the European Digital Advertising Alliance (EDAA). From the site, you can deny or accept the cookies used by advertising professionals who are members.

It is also possible to block certain third-party cookies directly via publishers:

Cookie type

Means of blocking

Analytical and performance cookies

Google Analytics

Targeted advertising cookies


The following types of cookies may be used on our websites:

Mandatory cookies

Functional cookies

Social media and advertising cookies

These cookies are needed to ensure the proper functioning of the site and cannot be disabled. They help ensure a secure connection and the basic availability of our website.

These cookies allow us to analyse site use in order to measure and optimise performance. They allow us to store your sign-in information and display the different components of our website in a more coherent way.

These cookies are used by advertising agencies such as Google and by social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Among other things, they allow pages to be shared on social media, the posting of comments, and the publication (on our site or elsewhere) of ads that reflect your centres of interest.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses CAS and PHP session cookies and the New Relic cookie for monitoring purposes (IP, response times).

These cookies are deleted at the end of the browsing session (when you log off or close your browser window)

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) uses the XiTi cookie to measure traffic. Our service provider is AT Internet. This company stores data (IPs, date and time of access, length of the visit and pages viewed) for six months.

Our EZPublish content management system (CMS) does not use this type of cookie.

For more information about the cookies we use, contact INRA’s Data Protection Officer by email at or by post at:

24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal

Home page

Alternatives to piglet castration

INRA Prod. Anim., 19(5), 347-356.


INRA, Agrocampus, UMR1079 Systèmes d’Elevage, Nutrition Animale et Humaine, F-35590 Saint-Gilles, France


In most countries, male piglets are castrated to prevent boar taint in meat due essentially to androstenone and skatole. Surgical castration is legally performed without analgesia until 7 days of age, but could be banned in the future since it is very painful. One solution could be to relieve the pain, using anaesthesia and pre-emptive analgesia. Taking into account the numerous constraints for the use of drugs on pig farms, very few solutions exist. One of them is to combine local anaesthesia with lidocaine and prolonged analgesia with an anti-inflammatory drug. Alternatively, surgical castration could be replaced by immunocastration or local destruction of testicular tissue by salts. The most documented solution is to immunise male pigs against GnRH but there are currently no licensed products in the EU. Moreover, the consumer acceptability of the method and its consequences on the welfare of pigs are poorly known. Raising entire males could also be considered, provided that it is possible to decrease the incidence of boar taint and to sort out tainted carcasses. Skatole and mainly androstenone levels could be lowered by genetic selection. Further decrease in skatole could be achieved via adapted management and nutrition. Regarding carcass sorting, new methods are under evaluation. In conclusion, banning of surgical castration would cause serious problems to the pig industry that it is not yet prepared to handle.

Download documents