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)