Animal Law Review


Zoë Sigle

First Page



This Article investigates the U.S. pork industry's routine practice of piglet castration without pain relief and why no nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in piglets to relieve pain associated with surgical castration. Some countries have approved and even require the use of NSAIDs for surgical castration in piglets. However, the U.S. veterinary pharmaceutical community claims to lack validated scientific methodology to quantify pain in piglets, leading to a lack of substantial evidence to demonstrate NSAID effectiveness and thereby barring FDA-approval of NSAIDs for pain relief in piglets during surgical castration. In order to address the pain quantification methodology challenge that has prevented FDA-approval NSAIDs for piglets during surgical castration despite approvals of NSAIDs in other countries, this Article proposes a path forward that draws on (1) market-based voluntary commitments to end surgical castration without pain relief and (2) new legislation that introduces pain measurements into the safety evaluation of all new food-producing animal drugs and requires data collection and publication on painful procedure methods in food-producing animals.

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