Capturing the emotional component of pain in piglets undergoing castration

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


Surgical castration is an invasive procedure commonly reported as a painful experience for piglets. However, though measures such as physical and behavioural impairments are generally used as indicators of pain, they do not necessarily qualify as evidence of painful feelings. Indeed, identifying the emotional component of pain requires both indications of nociception and evidence of pain perception in the somatosensory cortex, as potentially quantified by negative affective states.
This large-scale project seeks to examine piglets’ response to castration based on a multimodal approach including physiological, behavioural, acoustic and affective state-related indicators. Results will provide insights into the expression of pain while creating additional knowledge on piglets’ experience of castration.
The study is still being planned. The dataset will include more than 1000 piglets followed during and after castration on a Danish commercial pig farm. Among the planned indicators to be recorded is saliva cortisol concentrations, vocalization structure, and resistance movements during castration, rectal temperature, social motivation, reactivity to human presence, and spontaneous behaviour following the procedure.
During the workshop, the study design will be presented, and the potential for collaborations resulting in the inclusion of neural and/or electrophysiological parameters in the study will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateJun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
EventAWRN-Workshop on "cross-fertilization between neuroscience and animal welfare" - Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Jun 202114 Jun 2021


WorkshopAWRN-Workshop on "cross-fertilization between neuroscience and animal welfare"
LocationNewcastle University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Capturing the emotional component of pain in piglets undergoing castration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this