Consumer attitudes towards castration of piglets and alternatives to surgical castration

Res Vet Sci. 2011 Apr;90(2):352-7. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2010.06.018.


From three in-depth focus group studies and an internet based study concerning consumers attitudes towards surgical castration of piglets and alternatives, it can be concluded that Norwegian consumers are content with the current practice of castration using local anaesthesia. They accept castration as a necessary means to prevent the risk of boar taint in meat and thereby secure meat quality. Even though castration using anaesthesia is not a perfect solution, it is considered sufficient, and the consumers do not ask for alternatives. Most consumers were sceptical of immunocastration. The scepticism was mainly based on the fear of residuals in meat and unknown long-term consequences for the consumers. On the other hand the confidence in Norwegian control authorities is considerable, and will probably contribute to the maintenance of purchase habits even if immunocastration is to be introduced in Norwegian pig production. Castration without anaesthesia was characterized as completely unacceptable.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Welfare
  • Animals
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Orchiectomy / methods
  • Orchiectomy / veterinary*
  • Swine / physiology*