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Photo & video 5818 views last update:Jun 21, 2011

EU LAUNCH OF BOAR TAINT CONTROL VACCINE: Belgium

Over ten years after its introduction to the New Zealand and Australian market, a vaccine to control boar taint has been approved for use throughout the European Union (EU). Pig Progress editor Vincent ter Beek was present at the vaccine's launch, on Tuesday, near the town of Genval, south of the Belgian capital of Brussels.

Photo

  • 01.  This is what it is all about - boar taint. A nasty smell that can occur in boar meat when the animals are not castrated. The taint is caused by two steroids: androstenone and skatole. Here, the smells have been isolated to allow members of the press to have a sniff.

    01. This is what it is all about - boar taint. A nasty smell that can occur in boar meat when the animals are not castrated. The taint is caused by two steroids: androstenone and skatole. Here, the smells have been isolated to allow members of the press to have a sniff.

  • 02.  The vaccine, called Improvac and manufactured and marketed by Pfizer Animal Health, is produced in this plant in Louvain-La-Neuve, located south of Brussels. The plant can produce up to 2 million doses of vaccine per day and takes care of demand anywhere in the world.

    02. The vaccine, called Improvac and manufactured and marketed by Pfizer Animal Health, is produced in this plant in Louvain-La-Neuve, located south of Brussels. The plant can produce up to 2 million doses of vaccine per day and takes care of demand anywhere in the world.

  • 03.  Marco Leone, the company's group director, swine marketing for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, briefly introduced his company and the newly launched product.

    03. Marco Leone, the company's group director, swine marketing for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, briefly introduced his company and the newly launched product.

  • 04.  Michael Pearce, associate director, veterinary medicine R&D, for the animal health company in the UK, explained about the technical background of the product. The vaccine essentially triggers a male pig's immune system to produce antibodies against 'gonadotrophin releasing factor' (GnRF), which usually stimulates the development and function of the testes.

    04. Michael Pearce, associate director, veterinary medicine R&D, for the animal health company in the UK, explained about the technical background of the product. The vaccine essentially triggers a male pig's immune system to produce antibodies against 'gonadotrophin releasing factor' (GnRF), which usually stimulates the development and function of the testes.

  • 05.  Any measures above sensory thresholds can be notified by customers, buying pork, Pearce explained.

    05. Any measures above sensory thresholds can be notified by customers, buying pork, Pearce explained.

  • 06.  A two-shot vaccination regime to the pigs can suppress the development of boar taint until slaughter. The first shot should be given at eight weeks of age; this does not have any direct effect and the pigs continue to grow like boars. The second shot, however, to be given four to six weeks prior to slaughter, is aimed to stop the testes development of the male finisher pig.

    06. A two-shot vaccination regime to the pigs can suppress the development of boar taint until slaughter. The first shot should be given at eight weeks of age; this does not have any direct effect and the pigs continue to grow like boars. The second shot, however, to be given four to six weeks prior to slaughter, is aimed to stop the testes development of the male finisher pig.

  • 07.  In order to have the product authorised in the EU, many trials were conducted throughout Europe.

    07. In order to have the product authorised in the EU, many trials were conducted throughout Europe.

  • 08.  Barbara Hertrampf, formerly at Justus-Liebig University in the German city of Giessen, explained about trials related to positively improving carcass quality in vaccinated pigs, as e.g. backfat layers were observed to be less thick than in physically castrated males.

    08. Barbara Hertrampf, formerly at Justus-Liebig University in the German city of Giessen, explained about trials related to positively improving carcass quality in vaccinated pigs, as e.g. backfat layers were observed to be less thick than in physically castrated males.

  • 09.  Friedrich Schmoll, associate professor at the Veterinary University of Vienna, Austria, introduced trials carried out in Leipzig, Germany and Vienna, Austria. He added that male pig behaviour was seen to improve, as there was hardly any fighting or mounting among male pigs in late finishing - usually causing stress.

    09. Friedrich Schmoll, associate professor at the Veterinary University of Vienna, Austria, introduced trials carried out in Leipzig, Germany and Vienna, Austria. He added that male pig behaviour was seen to improve, as there was hardly any fighting or mounting among male pigs in late finishing - usually causing stress.

  • 10.  Anne Hémonic, veterinary officer at IFIP's Technical Institute for Pigs in Le Rheu, France, added that feed conversion rates in vaccinated pigs were observed to be higher than in physically castrated pigs, as the animals continue to grow like boars until four to six weeks before slaughter.

    10. Anne Hémonic, veterinary officer at IFIP's Technical Institute for Pigs in Le Rheu, France, added that feed conversion rates in vaccinated pigs were observed to be higher than in physically castrated pigs, as the animals continue to grow like boars until four to six weeks before slaughter.

  • 11.  Some time for testing the samples, by Jim Allison (left), technical director swine at the animal health company and Stephan Martin (right), director swine marketing for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

    11. Some time for testing the samples, by Jim Allison (left), technical director swine at the animal health company and Stephan Martin (right), director swine marketing for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

  • 12.  Allison explained on practical matters - how and where to vaccinate? He had brought a dummy pig that can be used for training.

    12. Allison explained on practical matters - how and where to vaccinate? He had brought a dummy pig that can be used for training.

  • 13.  Two types of vaccination pistols have so far been available - this one showed here is equipped with an extra safety tool to make self-injection impossible.

    13. Two types of vaccination pistols have so far been available - this one showed here is equipped with an extra safety tool to make self-injection impossible.

  • 14.  Martin closed off the presentation by introducing new data on acceptation of the new method in several countries throughout Europe - a continent in which piglet castration is heavily debated at the moment, due to animal welfare concerns. It is expected that the vaccine will be available in all EU countries this summer.

    14. Martin closed off the presentation by introducing new data on acceptation of the new method in several countries throughout Europe - a continent in which piglet castration is heavily debated at the moment, due to animal welfare concerns. It is expected that the vaccine will be available in all EU countries this summer.

Editor PigProgress

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