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Vaccine to Reduce Boar Taint Treats Over 1M Pigs

by 5m Editor
18 November 2011, at 11:13am

EU - Pfizer Animal Health announced today that over one million pigs have already been treated in Europe with its innovative vaccine to reduce boar taint.

This milestone indicates that the vaccine is now one of the preferred methods for both pig farmers and consumers. It is the only ready to use solution that perfectly balances pig farming sustainability and pork consumer satisfaction, maintaining a high quality and safety standard.

This milestone is galvanized by recent survey results which show that up to 74 per cent of final pork consumers acknowledge the animal welfare benefits of the vaccination method and prefer it over physical castration with anaesthesia, when exposed to the concept.

In most European countries, male piglets reared for meat are physically castrated without anaesthesia in order to safeguard sensory meat quality, reduce boar taint and control undesirable behaviour and mortality. However, the pig rearing sector is entering a new era and with a ban on physical castration scheduled for 2018 the active search of suitable alternatives is rife. Public institutions, including the European Partnership on Pig Castration, have already acknowledged the potential of only three alternatives: physical castration with anaesthesia and/or analgesia, vaccination or raising entire male pigs.

Among these alternatives, vaccination to reduce boar taint is the only one offering a safe, effective, sustainable and economically viable alternative, producing pork in compliance with the highest food safety standards and in line with consumer values of environment protection and animal welfare. These are the reasons why the vaccine is fast becoming the preferred method for all stakeholders and why over one million male pigs have already been vaccinated in Europe.

Wim Van Cotthem, Pfizer Animal Health commented: "There is no doubt that the farming sector in Europe has changed and it is tremendous to see that consumer preference is aligned. Farmers are looking for increasingly adaptable and innovative solutions to pig farming. In today’s tough economic market conditions, and with more demanding consumers, pig farmers are looking for innovative solutions to deliver pork of superior quality and still make a profit. Our continued commitment to this product, as an innovative alternative to physical castration, means that farmers can have a return on investment of up to €8 per pig, making it the most viable and economical choice in pig farming."

The market is the one choosing, and it has chosen vaccination 1 million times.

A better way forward

Pfizer’s vaccine to reduce boar taint has been used successfully in Australia and New Zealand for over 10 years. Because of its history of proven performance, this vaccine has been licensed for use in many other countries around the world. The product is currently licensed in 62 countries, the most recent launch being in Canada and USA, followed by Ukraine and Serbia in Europe.

Compared to physical castration, vaccination has also been proven in over 15 studies, to reduce pre-weaning mortality by 1.5 per cent reflecting a genuine advance in pig’s welfare (together with a reduction of aggressive and sexual behaviour) and positive profitability. While improving the profitability and sustainability of pig production as well as the welfare of pigs, it represents an efficient and animal-friendly alternative to physical castration; proven to make no compromise on meat quality.