Why control boar taint? Effective control of boar taint is essential for the pork industry. Although not dangerous, boar-tainted meat is disliked by many consumers and thus must be minimised in the supply chain.
People vary in their sensitivity to boar taint, and affected meat is described as having an offensive odour like that of urine, musk, perspiration, onions or faeces.
Physical castration is the most common method of controlling boar taint: over 95% of male pigs are estimated to be physically castrated.
Contrary to popular belief, however, the practice of physical castration is not 100% effective in controlling boar taint: studies show that up to 3% of gilts and physical castrates can have detectable taint levels as assessed by either chemical analysis or sensory evaluation. Heavily soiled living conditions can promote high levels of the taint compound skatole in any pig, including gilts, young boars and castrates.
Male pigs that have been physically castrated are less efficient than intact boars at converting feed into lean body weight and so they cost more and have a greater environmental impact (i.e., more manure, more phosphorous, more energy) in reaching the same weight. They also produce a carcass with a lower proportion of lean meat.
For more information, please visit www.boartaint.com.
IMPROVAC offers producers an effective, animal-friendly, environmentally sustainable alternative to physical castration. In fact, consumers agree that vaccination with IMPROVAC is the preferred method for managing boar taint. Producers too are able to capture the performance, health and carcass quality benefits of rearing male pigs as entire boars for most of the finishing period. Fifteen years of commercial use and studies in many countries have consistently shown that IMPROVAC is more than 99% effective against boar taint; it is therefore at least as effective as physical castration.
David Hennessy M. Agri Sci, PhD
Senior Special Projects Manager
Inventor of the first commercial boar taint vaccine
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* The IMPROVAC Dosage Odometer displays an approximate number of vaccine doses administered to date worldwide, is based on previous sales data and monthly sales estimations.
Sales Data Source: Zoetis.
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