What methods are available for pig farmers to prevent boar taint as much as possible?

Surgical castration as it has been conducted for many years; the testicles of the young male piglet are removed.
Immuno-castration, the boar is two times vaccinated during the rearing with a substance which suppresses the growth of the testicles.
Optimal breeding conditions of boars: proper housing, genetics, nutrition, hygiene and rest in the barn and playing material for the animals.

Is immuno-castration an alternative to castration of piglets?

Immuno-castration is a legally accepted method in the European Union. In itself this is an alternative to castration. However, respecting the integrity of the animal and leaving behind any interventions on the animal is preferred by many parties. In a number of situations, however, immune-castration can be a good (intermediate) solution. This concerns pigs slaughtered at a very high weight and age and animals in organic and free-range housing systems.

Which method is most commonly used?

Worldwide, surgical castration is still by far the most used. Immuno-castration to a much lesser extent because it is expensive, labor intensive for the pig farmers and not accepted everywhere in the market (sales parties fear negative reactions from consumers).
In Europe, the number of non-castrated pigs has increased considerably in recent years. Much information is available from international research about housing methods and best practices. Pig farmers can thus achieve an animal friendly rearing of boars. Additionally, good detection methods have to ensure the quality of the meat.

Which method ensures that the meat is free of boar taint?

No method nor intervention or operation during the rearing gives a 100% guarantee that abnormal smell of the meat is avoided. Therefore it is necessary that each individual bear is checked during slaughter.