In the Atria meat chain, animals are not subjected to any unnecessary painful physical alterations. They do not have their tails docked, and chickens are not debeaked, nor are bull calves castrated.
For the time being, procedures considered necessary include male pig castration (to stave off boar taint) and calf de-horning.
Male pigs are surgically castrated within five days of birth using pain analgesia. We are actively exploring alternative solutions to eliminate castration in the chain.
Calves are reared in freely roaming groups, and sharp horns pose a physical risk for other animals and a safety risk for carers. The Atria bovine service pays extra to have calves de-horned by a veterinary officer using analgesia in group rearing facilities. More than 80 per cent of the Atria farms that are included in the national cattle health care database Naseve receive the subsidy.