Research discovers docking tails causes long-term pain

  • Dale Sandercock
  • Pierpaolo Di Giminiani
  • Sandra EdwardsNewcastle University



Press article in Veterinary Times


Tail docking in pigs

Period10 Aug 2018

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleResearch discovers docking tails causes long-term pain
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletVeterinary Times, VBD Publishers
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionScotland-based researchers have found tail docking is a cause of long-term pain – a discovery that challenges the Scottish Government’s decision last year to partially reverse its ban on the practice.

    Dale Sandercock, of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), presented new evidence on the neurological effects of tail amputation at the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare meeting on advances in welfare science in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

    His team – from SRUC’s Animal and Veterinary Science Research Group, and Newcastle University – has been investigating the impact of tail docking as a management procedure to prevent tail biting in piglets.

    But their findings will also apply to other species where tails may be cut off in the neonatal period – sheep, horses and, in particular, dogs.
    Producer/AuthorJohn Bonner/Dale Sandercock
    PersonsDale Sandercock, Pierpaolo Di Giminiani, Sandra Edwards


  • Tail docking
  • Tail biting
  • Animal welfare
  • Animal health
  • Painful procedures
  • Pain
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Pig
  • Pig production
  • Piglet
  • Traumatic neuroma
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Gene expression
  • Mechanical hyperalgesia