Denmark combats boar taint with genomic selection

By Melodie Michel

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Domestic pig Pig Pork

Danish breeding company DanBred, is trying to reduce the risk of boar taint in pork through genomic selection, ahead of the 2018 implementation of the EU’s declaration on alternatives to surgical castration of pigs.

Owned by the Danish Pig Research Centre (DPRC), DanBred is looking for solutions to avoid boar taint, an unpleasant scent in meat from uncastrated boars, having a negative impact on the European pork industry once the voluntary welfare code is introduced.

Researchers from the genetic research and development section of the DPRC are collaborating with the Faculty of Life Sciences at Copenhagen University on a three-year post-doctoral project to implement genomic selection to reduce boar taint.

They are using genomic information to detect pigs that have a low risk of becoming contaminated with boar taint and put them forward as candidates for selection.

The DPRC expects the project to reduce the risk of boar taint in boars that are not castrated. In the longer term, DanBred hopes to export breeding stock with a low risk of developing boar taint.

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