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Altering the timing of an immunocastration vaccine to optimise pig performance

Lealiifano, A.K., Pluske, J.R., Nicholls, R.R., Dunshea, F.R. and Mullan, B.P. (2009) Altering the timing of an immunocastration vaccine to optimise pig performance. In: Manipulating Pig Production XII. Proceedings of the 12th Australasian Pig Science Association (APSA) Biennial Conference, 22 - 25 November, Werribee, Australia p. 184.

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Entire male pigs are more efficient and leaner than surgical castrates, but ’boar taint’ can compromise eating quality. Vaccination of boars with a gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine (Improvac®, Pfizer Ltd, Parkville, VIC) can eliminate boar taint, and allows pigs to retain all of the performance attributes of entire males up until the time they receive the second vaccination, normally four to five weeks pre-slaughter (Dunshea et al., 2001). However increases in backfat depth (P2) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared to entire males has limited the uptake of this technology. If giving the second vaccination closer to the time of slaughter could eliminate boar taint, there would be less of a cost in lost production to producers. An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that reducing the time between administration of the second vaccination with the GnRH vaccine and their slaughter will reduce the impact on P2 and FCR while still reducing boar taint.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Australasian Pig Science Association
Copyright: © 2009 Australasian Pig Science Association (Inc)
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