TOPIGS has started to breed sows that produce offspring with less boar taint. Boar taint will be part of the breeding objective within the dam lines of TOPIGS. As a result of this it is expected that the number of finishers with boar taint will have been halved in five years time. At present 4.5% of finishers have boar taint.
Thanks in part to the use of genomic selection, TOPIGS has found a new technique that makes it possible to reduce the heritability of boar taint in dam lines without affecting the fertility. The substances that cause boar taint also play a role in fertility. Research has revealed, however, that the degree to which this connection occurs in TOPIGS dam lines will not hinder the use of the newly developed technique.
Starting in 2010, TOPIGS was the first company to breed Nador finisher boars with a low heritability for boar taint. The greatest reduction in boar taint can be achieved via the finisher boars. Including boar taint in the breeding objective of the sows ensures an extra reduction in the occurrence of undesired taint in non-castrated pork.