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Management of organic entire male pigs - boar taint and animal welfare issues

Thomsen, Rikke (2015) Management of organic entire male pigs - boar taint and animal welfare issues. PhD thesis, Aarhus University , Department of Animal Science. .

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In Denmark surgical castration is a routine procedure both within conventional and organic pig production, but this procedure has recently been debated due to welfare issues. Changing the entire pig producing sector to production of entire male pigs is not straightforward, as extensive research have shown problems of boar taint in the meat of entire male pigs, but also welfare issues arising during rearing.Production of entire male pigs will be favorable from an organic perspective, as omitting castration complies well with the values of organic farming in terms of animal integrity, and as execution of the castration procedure is impractical on pigs reared outdoors.
Knowledge is lacking on how the rearing period is best adapted within the organic housing system to accommodate the documented changed behavior of entires, but the organic farming system might be able to offer some improvement initiatives related to management and housing. As regards boar taint, the organic farming system offers no apparent strategies for boar taint reduction, and knowledge about the extent of the problem and how known taint reducing initiatives work within the organic system is lacking. This highlights a need for investigation in large scale studies. The objective of the present study was to investigate different management approaches in relation to production of entire male pigs within the organic pig production system.
Studies focused on live weight of pigs at slaughter and soiling of pens and pigs in relation to occurrence of boar taint, and housing conditions such as grouping strategy and Group size in relation to animal welfare. A combination of these approaches was intended to contribute to an overall concept for production of organic entire male pigs.

EPrint Type:Thesis
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Research affiliation: Denmark > Organic RDD 1 > NO-CAST
Deposited By: Madsen, Academic employee Mette Graves
ID Code:28865
Deposited On:01 Jun 2015 09:45
Last Modified:01 Jun 2015 09:45
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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