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Pig producer attitude towards surgical castration of piglets without anaesthesia versus alternative strategies

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

A group of 160 Flemish pig farmers (n = 160) were surveyed about their attitude towards surgical castration with anaesthesia (SCA) and without (SCN), immunocastration (IC), sperm sexing (SS) and the production of entire males (EM). The farmers' general preference was recorded as SCN > SS > SCA = IC > EM. The farmers' self-reported knowledge of the strategies was associated with their preference for SCA (negatively) and SS (positively). Herd size was correlated with farmers' preference for SCA (negatively) and SS (positively). Farmers perceived surgical castration without anaesthesia as the most favourable strategy in terms of farm profitability, animal performance and effectiveness against boar taint, but they expected the lowest consumer acceptance for this strategy. Surgical castration with anaesthesia was ranked the least favourable in terms of labour conditions. Production of entire males was viewed as the least profitable and the least effective strategy. Sperm sexing was positively perceived, particularly in terms of labour conditions, animal welfare, effectiveness and expected consumer acceptance. The farmers' opinion was quite homogeneous, especially regarding surgical castration without anaesthesia and production of entire males. Increasing our understanding of the farmers' perceptions will hopefully facilitate communication about this intricate issue. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Tijdschrift: Research in Veterinary Science
ISSN: 0034-5288
Issue: 3
Volume: 92
Pagina's: 524-530
Jaar van publicatie:2012