The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has approved the use of use Improvac as an alternative to physical castration for the control of boar taint.
In the past, boar taint has been reduced by castrating male piglets in the first week of life. However, as well as increasing mortality, this procedure also means that the pig does not grow like a normal boar, requiring more feed for every kg of carcass produced. It also results in a carcass with a higher fat: lean ratio.
Studies have shown that the use of an immunological product to control boar taint helps lessen the environmental impact of pig production and contributes to sustainable pig farming. Improved feed conversion efficiency means less feed is consumed by boars, in turn reducing the amount of land and fertilizer required to produce feed. It also means that less manure is produced, which results in producers having to dispose of less waste.
Improvac works by stimulating the pig's immune system to produce antibodies which reduce the amount of taint in the meat. Male pigs show normal boar-like growth until the second dose of vaccine is administered a few weeks before slaughter. The lack of any harmful residues means that the product has a zero meat withdrawal period.
Source: Pfizer Animal Health