The decision was taken originally in 2002 that 2009 would be the final date
for the end of castration.
The first steps to be taken would involve mandatory anaesthetics for piglets
to be carried out by a vet, which was met in the beginning with some scepticism.
This has since died down.
Questions arose at the beginning of this
year, most notably from agriculture minister, Terje Riis-Johansen as to whether
this goal was achievable. The issue of quality loss from non-castrated pigs was
also brought to light leading to an extension of the ban date for an undefined
Assistance from abroad has been called in. The necessity for an anaesthetic
remains, which is costing the average farmer around €1,250 to €1,900 per year on
vet expenses, according to Norsvin, an organisation offering business
In addition, it is doubtful whether the Norwegian consumer will choose the
stronger smelling pork from an uncastrated pig. To sort out the male pigs with
stronger smells would cost pig processors around €25,000 yearly.
The Norwegians are optimistic that the problem
can be solved. Norsvin is involved in two projects in livestock farming. Results
so far have revealed that some breeds of pigs produce more skatol and
androsterone, which cause the high-smelling pork, than others.
Duroc pigs, for example, have three times more androsterone but half the
skatol of other breeds of pigs.
Norsvin is also focussing on feed, which it believes could be part of the
Or maybe the solution lies with the consumers? How tolerant to smell are
they? The Norwegians are trying to find out.
â€¢ Norsvin (in Norwegian)
For the latest pig news, subscribe