SusAn - SusAn

Sustainability in pork production with immunocastration – SuSI

Submission summary

European pig production faces a big challenge in the near future as stakeholders voluntarily agreed to end surgical castration without anesthesia and pain relief after 2018. Despite public disapproval in a number of EU countries, the majority of male piglets in the EU are still surgically castrated (SC). Two alternatives to SC currently exist. Raising entire males (EM) has been the preferred choice, but meat quality and welfare problems (i.e. boar taint, injuries) remain unsolved. Immunocastration (IC) may be an alternative, but its wider application in the EU is hampered by technological issues and social acceptability. Thus, the aim of our project is to critically evaluate and optimize pork production with IC as an environmental, economic and socially sustainable alternative to systems with SC or EM. This goal will be addressed by a multidisciplinary consortium of 8 partners with wide expertise covering the overall pork supply chain. The project will analyse the consequences of IC for production and production systems with respect to regional circumstances and societal atmosphere. Key issues regarding farm management and related consequences for animals and product quality are covered together with consumer perspectives in four work packages (WP). Three additional WP will integrate the results with respect to societal acceptance and environmental, economic and social sustainability. A further WP involves dissemination of the results and bidirectional exchange of information and experience with stakeholders along the value chain. The project will provide support for pork industry and farmers, but also for the decision-making and improving processes of governmental authorities towards an animal-friendly and consumer-accepted pork production across the EU. Our transnational collaboration avoids redundancies in research, allows rapid knowledge transfer and the development of knowledge-based communication strategies as a prerequisite for the acceptance of IC in Europe.

Project coordination

Etienne Labussière (Institut national de la recherche agronomique)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


SEGES SEGES Pig Research Centre
WULS Warsaw University of Life Sciences
WU Wageningen University
ILVO Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research
INRA Institut national de la recherche agronomique
KIS Kmetijski institut SLovenije
UL-VF University of Ljubljana-Veterinary Faculty
UHOH University of Hohenheim

Help of the ANR 141,124 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: July 2017 - 36 Months

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