Breeders can select piglet sex
New genetic technology could lead to more female
piglets being born, thus reducing the number of castrations or unnecessary
The reason behind this is the signing of a global deal for a technology
which could allow pig breeders to pre-select the sex of new-born animals. The
deal is between Ovasort Limited and the owners of Danish Bacon.
It is expected that converting the results from the laboratory into a
commercial product will take between one to two years.
R & D
Ovasort, a company originally attached to the University of Bristol School of
Veterinary Science and now based in Wales, is undertaking a research and
development programme. The team hopes to develop the world's first low-cost,
high-volume sperm separation technology acting at the cell surface, allowing
production of male-enriched or female-enriched pig semen.
This technology, filtering out male Y-chromosome cells by producing
molecules that bind female X-chromosome cells, could dramatically improve the
commercial efficiency of supplying breeding gilts (young female pigs) to the pig
Ovasort has signed a global licensing agreement for the use of the
technology in pigs with Danish Pig Production who operate as Danish Bacon in the
UK. The major Norwegian pig-breeding co-operative, Norsvin, will also work with
Danish Pig Production.
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