Innovative approaches in pork production with entire males
Competition title: COST CA15215
Start date: 06. 10. 2016.
End date: 05. 10. 2020.
Surgical castration of boars without pain relief is now considered unacceptable. Stakeholders of the pork chain committed themselves to voluntarily end surgical castration of male pigs in Europe by January 1st, 2018. The production of entire males (EM) or immunocastrates (IC) results in new challenges in management of product quality (detecting and reducing boar taint, coping with extreme leanness), specific nutritional requirements, appropriate animal management and housing to reduce boar taint and address associated animal welfare issues (aggression, sexual behaviour). Thus, EM and IC production require reconsideration of the whole pork production system, and innovations at all levels of the food chain to achieve high sustainability and product quality. Partially, these aspects have been studied previously but there are is still a range of unresolved relevant issues. Additionally, a knowledge gap exists between the Western and Eastern parts of Europe, either due to differences in traditional production systems or differences in public perception of animal welfare aspects. A better coordinated research effort and training of young researchers at international level would significantly improve research efficiency, accelerate knowledge acquisition and dissemination. The COST Action will accelerate innovations by networking, by developing and disseminating science-based best practices to achieve good production quality with EM or IC. It will support the meat industry to cope with the challenge to produce equally valuable products from meat of EM or IC which is adequate for regional specific consumer demands.
Prof. Danijel Karolyi, PhD
University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture