Breeders can select piglet sex

20-09-2006 | |

New genetic technology could lead to more female piglets being born, thus reducing the number of castrations or unnecessary slaughter needed.

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.
Ovasort, a company originally attached to the University of Bristol Veterinary School 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 industry.
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.