Speaking at the 20th JSR technical conference at Nottingham University, England, Dr Grant Walling expressed his concerns about the use of immunovaccination to eliminate boar taint.
At the conference, held in the end of last week, he feared that the popular press might get the wrong idea, labelling pigmeat ‘sterility vaccinated pork’, which would hardly be good for pork sales and promotion.
Whilst product quality for the consumer is improved, the extra handling and the two vaccinations needed incur extra work and cost, he said.
Slaughter at lighter weight
In the short term, one way round this problem is to slaughter entires at lighter weights, he said. Women are far more sensitive to boar taint and they can be easily trained to detect taint using the ‘hot wire’ test.
Inserting a hot wire into the fat releases any odours and any positive testing carcasses can be diverted on the cutting line and used as sausage meat or for other manufacturing©products.
JSR is working with Guelph University in Ontario and they have identified lines that have less than 5% evidence of taint and JSR are hopeful that they will have a solution within the next 12 months.
Immunovaccination is a method launched by Pfizer Animal Health in which young male piglets are vaccinated twice to prevent them from developing large amounts of©hormones skatole and androstenone, which cause boar taint.
The product has been on the market in Australia for over a decade, and was recently authorised for use in the European Union as well.