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Consumer response to the possible use of a vaccine method to control boar taint v. physical piglet castration with anaesthesia: a quantitative study in four European countries

Filiep Vanhonacker (UGent) and Wim Verbeke (UGent)
(2011) ANIMAL. 5(7). p.1107-1118
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Abstract
In most European countries, male piglets being reared for meat are physically castrated without anaesthesia in order to avoid boar taint and to safeguard sensory meat quality. This method is increasingly criticised for its violation of piglet welfare. Alternative methods are being researched and castration with anaesthesia or analgesia and vaccination (immunisation) against gonadotropin-releasing hormone (using Improvac (R), Pfizer GmbH) have been proposed as possible solutions. In addition to efficacy, the successful introduction and adoption of the vaccine method by stakeholders in pig supply chains are expected to depend on a favourable reception by consumers. This large-scale quantitative cross-country study (n = 4031) involving representative samples of consumers in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium does not support the reserved attitude of stakeholders who fear potential low market acceptance. The vaccine method was actually preferred by the majority of consumers surveyed (69.6% of the participants) and it was perceived as equally effective in terms of avoiding boar taint; 43.8% of the consumers reported an intention to seek out pork from pigs where the vaccine had been used to control boar taint, whereas 33.7% reported an intention to avoid pork from pigs physically castrated with anaesthesia. Consumers' favourable dispositions to the vaccine method were independent of dominant ethical, health or price orientations when purchasing pork.
Keywords
GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING-HORMONE, ENTIRE MALE PIGS, SURGICAL CASTRATION, ANIMAL-WELFARE, GROWTH-PERFORMANCE, GNRF VACCINE, FOOD SAFETY, FRESH MEAT, ALTERNATIVES, BEHAVIOR, acceptance, consumer perception, boar taint, physical castration, vaccine method

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Vanhonacker, Filiep, and Wim Verbeke. 2011. “Consumer Response to the Possible Use of a Vaccine Method to Control Boar Taint V. Physical Piglet Castration with Anaesthesia: a Quantitative Study in Four European Countries.” Animal 5 (7): 1107–1118.
APA
Vanhonacker, F., & Verbeke, W. (2011). Consumer response to the possible use of a vaccine method to control boar taint v. physical piglet castration with anaesthesia: a quantitative study in four European countries. ANIMAL, 5(7), 1107–1118.
Vancouver
1.
Vanhonacker F, Verbeke W. Consumer response to the possible use of a vaccine method to control boar taint v. physical piglet castration with anaesthesia: a quantitative study in four European countries. ANIMAL. 2011;5(7):1107–18.
MLA
Vanhonacker, Filiep, and Wim Verbeke. “Consumer Response to the Possible Use of a Vaccine Method to Control Boar Taint V. Physical Piglet Castration with Anaesthesia: a Quantitative Study in Four European Countries.” ANIMAL 5.7 (2011): 1107–1118. Print.
@article{1269986,
  abstract     = {In most European countries, male piglets being reared for meat are physically castrated without anaesthesia in order to avoid boar taint and to safeguard sensory meat quality. This method is increasingly criticised for its violation of piglet welfare. Alternative methods are being researched and castration with anaesthesia or analgesia and vaccination (immunisation) against gonadotropin-releasing hormone (using Improvac (R), Pfizer GmbH) have been proposed as possible solutions. In addition to efficacy, the successful introduction and adoption of the vaccine method by stakeholders in pig supply chains are expected to depend on a favourable reception by consumers. This large-scale quantitative cross-country study (n = 4031) involving representative samples of consumers in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium does not support the reserved attitude of stakeholders who fear potential low market acceptance. The vaccine method was actually preferred by the majority of consumers surveyed (69.6% of the participants) and it was perceived as equally effective in terms of avoiding boar taint; 43.8% of the consumers reported an intention to seek out pork from pigs where the vaccine had been used to control boar taint, whereas 33.7% reported an intention to avoid pork from pigs physically castrated with anaesthesia. Consumers' favourable dispositions to the vaccine method were independent of dominant ethical, health or price orientations when purchasing pork.},
  author       = {Vanhonacker, Filiep and Verbeke, Wim},
  issn         = {1751-7311},
  journal      = {ANIMAL},
  keywords     = {GONADOTROPIN-RELEASING-HORMONE,ENTIRE MALE PIGS,SURGICAL CASTRATION,ANIMAL-WELFARE,GROWTH-PERFORMANCE,GNRF VACCINE,FOOD SAFETY,FRESH MEAT,ALTERNATIVES,BEHAVIOR,acceptance,consumer perception,boar taint,physical castration,vaccine method},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {1107--1118},
  title        = {Consumer response to the possible use of a vaccine method to control boar taint v. physical piglet castration with anaesthesia: a quantitative study in four European countries},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1751731111000139},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2011},
}

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