US gains a different view on castration

clip_image002In early April 2013, Dr Ir. Gé Backus, Director of Connecting Agri&Food will provide a presentation on five years of Dutch and European research into stopping boar castration at the University of Minnesota in the United States. So far, the subject has been given very little attention in the US. Castration is not an issue there. Backus: “In the US it’s all about the economic aspects and consumer behaviour. We know all about the subject here in Europe. This presentation will contribute to exchanging international knowledge and experience on this subject.”

Gé Backus’ lecture will take place in early April of 2013 in the framework of the Agricultural Economics Seminar Series. During his lecture entitled ‘Stop castration: Recent developments in producing and marketing entire male pigs within the European Union’ he will provide an overview of the good results achieved in Europe since stopping the castration of male piglets.

Economic advantages

The US and Europe hold very different views on pig farming. Europe pays a great deal of attention to animal welfare. Backus’ American listeners are more interested in economic results. In Europe, stakeholders are aware of the fact that consumption figures remain good and that the economic advantages of breeding, raising and processing uncastrated boars are huge. This will give the Americans food for thought and will put the subject ‘stopping piglet castration’ higher up on the agenda expects Gé Backus. “This is also important in the Netherlands and Europe. It is in the interest of all parties concerned to share knowledge and experience on this subject.”

Backus also expects interesting discussions to develop on the consumption of the fattier products which are very popular in the US. “Odorants and flavourants are stored in fat. This increases the risk of boar taint.”