Breeders can select piglet sex

Breeders can select piglet sex

New genetic technology could lead to more female piglets being born.

Thus the number of castrations or unnecessary slaughter could be reduced.

The reason behind this is the signing of a global deal for a technology which could allow pig breeders to pre-select the sex of new-born animals. The deal is between Ovasort Limited and the owners of Danish Bacon.

It is expected that converting the results from the laboratory into a commercial product will take between one to two years. Ovasort, a company originally attached to the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Science and now based in Wales, is undertaking a research and development programme.

The team hopes to develop the world's first low-cost, high-volume sperm separation technology acting at the cell surface, allowing production of male-enriched or female-enriched pig semen. This technology, filtering out male Y-chromosome cells by producing molecules that bind female X-chromosome cells, could dramatically improve the commercial efficiency of supplying breeding gilts to the pig industry.

Source: South African Meat Industry Company (SAMIC)

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