Castration of swine can help control aggressive behavior and improve the palatability of pork. Current U.S. swine markets do not allow for mass marketing of uncastrated male pigs. Castration is a painful surgical procedure and should be performed as early as possible, preferably with analgesia and anesthesia by 14 days of age.
Surgical wounds should be healed prior to weaning. After 14 days of age, swine should be castrated using analgesia and/or anesthesia. Pain management should be implemented for any animal showing signs of pain after the procedure. The CVMA recommends the use of procedures and practices that reduce or eliminate pain, including the use of approved or AMDUCA-permissible clinically effective medications whenever possible. The CVMA encourages development and implementation of practical analgesic and anesthetic protocols for, and alternatives to, swine castration.