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How to Improve Meat Quality and Welfare in Entire Male Pigs by Genetics

GenPhySE, Université de Toulouse, French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment INRAE, ENVT, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France
Academic Editors: Maria Font-i-Furnols, Igor Tomašević and Michel Bonneau
Animals 2021, 11(3), 699;
Received: 1 October 2020 / Revised: 9 December 2020 / Accepted: 10 December 2020 / Published: 5 March 2021
Successful breeding of entire male pigs needs a better understanding of factors driving meat quality and behavior traits as entire male pigs have lower meat quality, including an occasional strong defect known as boar taint, and more aggressive and sexual behavior. The review provides an update on how genetic factors affecting boar taint compounds and aggressive behavior in male pigs with emphasis on application in selection.
Giving up surgical castration is desirable to avoid pain during surgery but breeding entire males raises issues on meat quality, particularly on boar taint, and aggression. It has been known for decades that boar taint is directly related to sexual development in uncastrated male pigs. The proportion of tainted carcasses depends on many factors, including genetics. The selection of lines with a low risk of developing boar taint should be considered as the most desirable solution in the medium to long term. It has been evidenced that selection against boar taint is feasible, and has been set up in a balanced way in some pig populations to counterbalance potential unfavorable effects on reproductive performances. Selection against aggressive behaviors, though theoretically feasible, faces phenotyping challenges that compromise selection in practice. In the near future, new developments in modelization, automatic recording, and genomic data will help define breeding objectives to solve entire male meat quality and welfare issues. View Full-Text
Keywords: genetics; selection; boar taint; behavior; entire males genetics; selection; boar taint; behavior; entire males
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MDPI and ACS Style

Larzul, C. How to Improve Meat Quality and Welfare in Entire Male Pigs by Genetics. Animals 2021, 11, 699.

AMA Style

Larzul C. How to Improve Meat Quality and Welfare in Entire Male Pigs by Genetics. Animals. 2021; 11(3):699.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Larzul, Catherine. 2021. "How to Improve Meat Quality and Welfare in Entire Male Pigs by Genetics" Animals 11, no. 3: 699.

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