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What does the RSPCA think of nose rings for pigs and bulls?

Article ID: 364
Last updated: 25 Nov, 2009
Revision: 1
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The RSPCA believes that pigs must not be nose ringed to prevent them from rooting and foraging as the nose ring unreasonably restricts their normal behavioural patterns. Instead, pigs should be provided with alternative substrate to allow foraging behaviour while at the same time preventing adverse effects on the environment.

The RSPCA believes that nose ringing for the purpose of controlling bulls is only acceptable when performed by a veterinarian. The ring should be smooth and well-fitting and must not inflict pain. The procedure requires appropriate restraint, the use of local anaesthetics, and proper post-operative procedures to aid healing without infection. The proper use of a removable show lead as an alternative to the nose ring is recommended as, once removed, it allows the bull freedom of movement thereby significantly reducing the risk of injury.
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