Immunocastration has been pointed out as an alternative to surgical castration; though, most of the scientific studies were performed in light pig production. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of immunocastration on animal welfare in heavy pig production through the evaluation of behaviour and body lesions. A total of 188 commercial-hybrid pigs were randomly allocated into two treatment groups: surgical castration (SC) and immunocastration with Improvac® (IC). Data on behaviour, body lesions, and salivary testosterone levels were collected the day before each vaccination at 15, 22, 32, and 36 weeks of age. IC and SC pigs were slaughtered at 40 and 41 weeks of age, respectively; productive and carcass traits data were also collected. Considering productive performance, our results confirmed that IC pigs grew faster and presented a higher weight at slaughter. A critical period for pig welfare was observed before 32 weeks: testosterone concentration and body lesion score were significantly higher in IC pigs compared to SC pigs; active behaviours were significantly more frequent in IC at 15 weeks. Immunocastration may represent a suitable alternative to surgical castration with profitable productive performances, whereas the impairment of welfare during the period before the effective vaccination should be further investigated as a potential critical aspect in heavy pig production.

Does Immunocastration Affect Behaviour and Body Lesions in Heavy Pigs? / G. Pesenti Rossi, E. Dalla Costa, J.F.S. Filipe, S.M. Mazzola, A. Motta, M. Borciani, A. Gastaldo, E. Canali, F. Pilia, M. Argenton, M. Caniatti, A. Pecile, M. Minero, S. Barbieri. - In: VETERINARY SCIENCES. - ISSN 2306-7381. - 9:8(2022 Aug), pp. 410.1-410.13. [10.3390/vetsci9080410]

Does Immunocastration Affect Behaviour and Body Lesions in Heavy Pigs?

G. Pesenti Rossi
Primo
;
E. Dalla Costa
Secondo
;
J.F.S. Filipe;S.M. Mazzola;E. Canali;F. Pilia;M. Caniatti;A. Pecile;M. Minero
Penultimo
;
S. Barbieri
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Immunocastration has been pointed out as an alternative to surgical castration; though, most of the scientific studies were performed in light pig production. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of immunocastration on animal welfare in heavy pig production through the evaluation of behaviour and body lesions. A total of 188 commercial-hybrid pigs were randomly allocated into two treatment groups: surgical castration (SC) and immunocastration with Improvac® (IC). Data on behaviour, body lesions, and salivary testosterone levels were collected the day before each vaccination at 15, 22, 32, and 36 weeks of age. IC and SC pigs were slaughtered at 40 and 41 weeks of age, respectively; productive and carcass traits data were also collected. Considering productive performance, our results confirmed that IC pigs grew faster and presented a higher weight at slaughter. A critical period for pig welfare was observed before 32 weeks: testosterone concentration and body lesion score were significantly higher in IC pigs compared to SC pigs; active behaviours were significantly more frequent in IC at 15 weeks. Immunocastration may represent a suitable alternative to surgical castration with profitable productive performances, whereas the impairment of welfare during the period before the effective vaccination should be further investigated as a potential critical aspect in heavy pig production.
animal welfare; behaviour; body lesion; carcass traits; heavy pig; immunocastration; productive performances; salivary testosterone
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/936026
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