Published on May 17, 2018
Advanced genetic solutions will improve animal welfare
Hendrix Genetics has joined a research alliance to develop pioneering genetic technology. Through the use of precision breeding, this group hopes to end the surgical castrations of male piglets.
The alliance aims to develop precision breeding technology that results in male piglets born naturally castrated. When successful, it will have a major impact on swine health and well-being. This project is also backed by a grant from The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and The Open Philanthropy Project.
Precision breeding technologies will provide solution for pork producers
Today, male piglets are routinely castrated to improve the quality of meat for consumers. Castration not only avoids “boar taint”, an unpleasant odor and an unsavory taste, but also impacts the animal’s well-being. Precision breeding technology aims to provide real solution for pork producers
To eliminate the need for castrations, Recombinetics, a pioneer in genetic solutions for animal agriculture and human health, developed a precision breeding method resulting in male piglets that remain in a pre-pubertal state. To determine the commercial viability of castration-free pigs, the alliance will investigate best practices for recovery of puberty and fertility, without compromising traits such as feed efficiency and meat quality.
Advancing on many fronts
Precision breeding is offering real solutions and creating enormous value for the agriculture industry. Aside from this application in swine it has also been used with other animals, for example in cattle it has been successful in not just promoting cattle to be naturally born hornless, but heat resistant as well.
Eliminating the need for producers to de-horn cattle or castrate swine both creates value and improves productivity, but also has a large impact on the welfare and well-being of livestock. This initiative is important for Hendrix Genetics, as we are at the beginning of the protein value chain and these kinds of projects allow us to add value that ripple far down the line.
Hendrix Genetics is committed to responsible farm animal breeding. New technologies such as those targeted in this alliance can be part of our future solutions. While delivering benefits to producers, our solutions must also meet the rigorous needs of consumers and society. Passionately driven to achieve global leadership in animal genetics, we also aim to contribute towards setting global industry standards.