French-Dutch information exchange on boar fattening

In February 2013, Annechien ten Have, Chairperson of IMG-20130311-WA0000the Dutch Steering Party Stopping Castration, provided a presentation to Cooperl, a cooperation that represents some 2,700 French pig farmers. Cooperl annually slaughters 4,908,00 pigs. The group exports approximately 30%, partially also slaughterhouse by-products. The presentations were provided in Bressuire, Lamballe and Chateaugiron in France. In her French-language presentation, Annechien ten Have outlined the history and current situation in boar fattening in the Dutch pig farming industry. Afterwards, the pig farmers present discussed experiences in both countries.

Porc Bien Etre

Cooperl has been working on the pig welfare project ‘PorcBienEtre’ since 2008. In 2010, trials were conducted with immunocastration. It was then decided not to use immunocastration as an alternative to castration. In 2011, 40 pig farmers stopped castrating their pigs. They have continued to supply boars right the way through to the present. In 2012, a second group of pig farmers stopped castrating. They work with pigs with various genetic characteristics. Detection methods for boar taint have been implemented at the slaughterhouses. Cooperl wants to incorporate this method into its own quality system. Cooperl’s objective is to stop castration on a large scale in 2013.

At Annechien ten Have’s presentation events, French pig farmers proved to be in favour of stopping castration. Economic factors were decisive for the majority. Discussion is still underway about adapting boar feed. Many French pig farmers are sceptical about the need to do so and about the additional costs.

Cooperl cooperates closely with supermarkets to monitor any possible consumer complaints about boar taint.

Please also refer to the article by Cooperl on its welfare project ‘Porc Bien Etre’.

Power Point presentation Annechien ten Have in France 11 2 2013