Project Boars 2018

In 2011 the parties involved in the European pig sector signed the declaration of Brussels. The statement expresses the ambition to end castration of male piglets in Europe in 2018. The goal is ambitious. Nevertheless, big steps are already made in many European countries to achieve that goal.
The challenges faced by the different parties are:
1. Boar taint is mainly dependent on the market acceptance. To avoid potential negative reactions from consumers, some international parties would beforehand not accept meat from uncastrated pigs.
2. Preliminary measures can prevent boar taint. The breeding of specific genetic characteristics, the composition of animal feed and farm management are examples. Some measures can be introduced quickly, for others -much- more time is required.
3. A quality control in the slaughter line is necessary in order to prevent meat with boar taint reaching the market. Slaughter companies must be willing to invest in detection. In Europe an agreement has to be reached on the reliability of the (different) methods.
4. Castrated pigs are less active than non-castrated pigs. Pig farmers have to deal with more active animals. They should take measures in order to prevent pigs not to act overly aggressive or active within the group.
5. Special challenges arise in case of particular products or production methods, such as those for traditional products like Parma ham or in organic pork production.