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The Economic Impact of German Pig Carcass Pricing Systems and Risk Scenarios for Boar Taint on the Profitability of Pork Production with Immunocastrates and Boars

by Kevin Kress 1,* and Mandes Verhaagh 2,*
1
Department of Behavioral Physiology of Livestock, Institute of Animal Science, University of Hohenheim, Garbenstraße 17, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
2
Thünen Institute of Farm Economics, Bundesallee 63, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2019, 9(9), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9090204
Received: 6 August 2019 / Revised: 13 September 2019 / Accepted: 16 September 2019 / Published: 18 September 2019
From 2021 onwards, surgical castration of male piglets without pain relief will be banned in Germany. In Europe, stakeholders have committed themselves to end piglet castration from 2018 onwards. Alternatives to surgical castration are pork production with boars or immunocastrates. The competitiveness of these production systems is required to increase their market acceptance. The aim of this study was to test the profitability of pork production with boars and immunocastrates under different carcass pricing systems and penalty systems linked to boar taint. The calculations were based on the performance parameters of 36 animals (n = 12 immunocastrates, n = 12 boars, n = 12 barrows) from an experimental study. In order to analyze the economic effects of both alternatives under different regional German production systems, the performance data were set in relation to the data of agri benchmark. Both boars and immunocastrates performed economically worse than barrows in all the scenarios tested. If immunocastrates are sold according to the boar pricing system, the profitability of this technique is even lower, but still more profitable than boar fattening. Pork production with boars is the most unprofitable alternative in this study and will be further devalued if a penalty system linked to boar taint will be introduced. View Full-Text
Keywords: immunocastration; boars; surgical castration; carcass pricing systems; boar taint; risk scenarios; pork production; profitability; pork market; androstenone; skatole immunocastration; boars; surgical castration; carcass pricing systems; boar taint; risk scenarios; pork production; profitability; pork market; androstenone; skatole
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Kress, K.; Verhaagh, M. The Economic Impact of German Pig Carcass Pricing Systems and Risk Scenarios for Boar Taint on the Profitability of Pork Production with Immunocastrates and Boars. Agriculture 2019, 9, 204.

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