_DSC8387Challenges for developing a market based solution to produce and market entire male pigs are manifold.

  1. Boar taint is literally a question of taste. The boar taint issue is thus primarily related to market acceptance. In order to avoid any negative consumer response, international market parties do not accept boar tainted meat products.
  2. Preventive measures can reduce the prevalence of boar tainted meat. These are genetics, feed composition, mixing of animals and hygienic measures. Breeding for particular characteristics traditionally takes several years. Other preventive measures can be in effect almost immediately.
  3. A safety net in the slaughter line is the necessary final check. Boar taint in the (heated) consumer product can be avoided by removing all the boars with boar taint in the abattoir (detection). A common accepted reference method in Europe is needed, as well as a harmonized protocol for the current human nose detection method. Moreover there is an urgent need for the development of novel on line methods.
  4. Castrated male pigs are less active than boars. For the pig farmer and the welfare of animals housed in groups, that is an advantage. Farmers have to learn to identify and apply the do and don’ts of raising boars in order to prevent excessive aggressive behaviour.
  5. A special issue are the specific markets, like free range production or quality oriented production (Parma ham, organic meat, traditional high quality products, in Mediterranean countries). There is an urgent need to solve the problems of extensive free range product marketing of entire males.