Boars information ready for use

Gé Backus From January 1, 2019 pigs in Germany may no longer be castrated without anesthesia. This is enshrined in German law. Major retailers such as Rewe, Edeka Südwest, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd want to take the step towards non-castration two years earlier. Animal protection organizations play an important … Continue reading

Beliefs or evidence?

Gé Backus Talking about farming and marketing entire male pigs often ends up in talking about the risk of boar taint. Piglet castration is a clear illustration how much time it takes for new evidence to replace age old habits and views. Paul Slovic published in Science (1987) an important … Continue reading

Waited too long

Gé Backus  On 25 June 2013, 200 Germans and 1 Dutchman met in the Jerusalemkirche in Berlin to discuss the theme of ‘Verzicht auf betäubungslose Ferkelkastration’ (stopping the unanaesthetised castration of piglets). The event was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and QS (a German umbrella organisation for quality control). … Continue reading

Stronger together

Annechien ten Have-Mellema Even if you look at something from various perspectives and have different points of departure when cooperating, you are still stronger together. This was one of the basic premises for the European Community. It also applies to stopping castration. Cooperation was paramount when 31 organisations signed the … Continue reading

Coming, staying and disappearing

Carola van der Peet – Schwering: Castrating pigs is a subject that regularly reared its head in discussions concerning and within pig farming in recent decades. Over the 28 years that I have worked as a pig husbandry researcher, I have seen the subject come and go several times. However, the … Continue reading

Myths about boar taint

Ge Backus: In the 1980s, the American Slovic conducted groundbreaking research into what people consider dangerous. One of the surprising results was that people are less afraid of skateboarding than they are of DNA technology. Even though we have been using DNA technology for thousands of years to domesticate agricultural … Continue reading

Non-castration picking up steam …

Annechien ten Have-Mellema I recently visited Bretagne at the invitation of Cooperl. I related our experiences with boar raising at their annual meetings for their pig farming members. I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw and heard. First, a little information on Cooperl. Cooperl is a cooperation that annually … Continue reading