What is boar meat?

Boar meat is pork from uncastrated male pigs.

What is boar taint?

Boar taint is a penetrating unpleasant odour (and accompanying taste) in pork. Click here for more information.

Why is there so much attention in Europe for boar meat?

A large number of European consumers attach great and increasing importance to animal welfare. European consumers consider it important that farm animals get as little as possible interventions throughout their lives. Castration of male pigs is one of these interventions. The European pig sector takes the signals seriously. Within Boars2018 they are working on a solution to the complex castration issue.

Why are male piglets castrated?

Boar piglets are routinely castrated for years with the idea thus preventing a possible abnormal smell of the meat (boar taint).

Why is stopping castration of male pigs in discussion?

The main reason is that it improves animal welfare by avoiding an intervention in the male piglets. European society and consumers not only judge the eating quality of pork but also consider the way the animals are being treated as important. The resistance to castrate male piglets is increasing.

Is stopping castrating a responsible decision?

A lot of research and field tests have shown that this is possible. The meat quality can be ensured by carrying out proper checks in the slaughter line. It is known which points are important to the farmer. Finally, much information is available for the feed producers so that less food is needed for the same amount of meat. That is sustainable and contributes to the environment.

Which countries have built up experience in the production, sale and consumption of meat from uncastrated pigs?

The production, sale and consumption of meat from uncastrated pigs naturally depends on the market demand. In Europe, a clear trend can be observed. Since time, the UK and Ireland have not castrated male pigs. In Spain, this applies to about 80% of the pigs. Two years ago Dutch supermarkets have agreed not to sell any meat from castrated pigs anymore. In Germany, France and Belgium more and more market parties switch towards boar meat. The offer, purchase and acceptance of meat from uncastrated pigs shows a clear growth.