IRTA-Monells is sponsoring two boar taint workshops in Spain, December 2-3, the "EAAP working group on production and utilization of meat from entire male pigs" and on December 4, "International workshop on rapid detection methods."
Surgical castration has been long used to prevent consumers from experiencing boar taint in pork from entire male pigs, which is a large problem in the European pig industry.
Because of animal welfare issues, the European Union (EU) now wants an alternative to surgical castration. The European Commission and representatives of European pig farmers, meat industry, traders, retailers, scientists and NGOs have recently committed themselves to plan to voluntarily end surgical castration of pigs in Europe by January 1, 2018 (European Declaration on alternatives to surgical castration of pigs; SANCO 2010).
Regardless of future measures to reduce the incidence of boar taint at the production level (feeding regimes, selective breeding), there will be a need for rapid detection methods at the slaughter-line for sorting out tainted carcasses. This also provides an opportunity to have boar taint-free and quality assured products, that will contribute to consumers' acceptability of pork and pork products from entire male pigs.