How are boars de-tusked?

Mature male animals of most species are unpredictable in their responses to various stimuli in their surroundings and in their interaction with other pigs and with people. Their size, agility when aroused, strength and ‘offensive weapons’ allow them the potential to inflict serious damage on other animals or on people. Mature working boars should be de-tusked regularly for the protection of all who have contact with them. This means about every 6 months after the boar is 12 months of age. All boars should be de-tusked prior to shipment to collection points, abattoirs or auction markets. Only the two tusks in the bottom jaw need to be removed. These are the teeth used by boars in fighting. They are kept sharp by rubbing against the blunt top tusks and are used in an upwards and sideways ripping action. The preferred method of removal is to saw off the teeth. This method avoids the splintering, sharp residues and gum trauma associated with other methods of removal. Equipment required is:
Cattle de-horning wire
De- horning wire clamps
Pliers or side-cutters
Hog snare
Ear protectors
Two people are required. A couple of pieces of dehorning wire, about 18 – 24 inches long, should be cut before anyone enters the boar pen. The boar is caught using the snare. It is of vital importance that the snare wire is behind the top tusks; otherwise, the boar will not be adequately restrained. He should be encouraged to move backwards gradually until his rear is fitted into the angle of the pen corner. This will prevent too much lateral movement or creeping, and will take away a lot of the strain from the person holding the boar. The boar’s head should be held as high as is comfortable for the catcher. The operator should now have the wire secured in the clamps and be wearing the ear protectors. The loop of wire is placed over the bottom tusk. Sawing commences lightly just above the gum line. The handles
should be held down to prevent the wire from sliding up over the tusk. Once a notch has been cut in the tusk, the handles should be raised so the wire cuts the tusk parallel to the gum. Good pressure can be applied to get the job done quickly. Repeat the process for the tusk on the opposite side of the bottom jaw. The whole process from fitting the wire over the tusk to its complete removal will take 10 to 15 seconds. Once the tusks are removed, run a finger over the surface to ensure no sharp pieces are left. The operator should then leave the pen and control the gate, to facilitate the exit of the catcher when the boar is released.