Immunocastration reduces aggressive and sexual behaviour in male pigs

L. Rydhmer, K. Lundström, K. Andersson
2010 Animal  
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine, Improvac™ (Pfizer Ltd), in suppressing aggressive and sexual behaviour of male pigs. One hundred and thirty-six pigs were assigned to three treatments: entire male pigs (n= 64), immunocastration against GnRH (n= 48) and surgical castration (n= 24). Surgical castration was performed before the age of 1 week. Vaccination comprised two injections: the first injection was given 8 to 11 weeks
more » ... efore slaughter and the second injection 4 weeks before slaughter. After the second injection, immunocastrated pigs showed less non-violent social and aggressive behaviours than entire male pigs of the same age. Mounting was reduced to the same low level as observed in surgically castrated pigs, and more immunocastrated pigs were without skin lesions compared with entire male pigs. Pigs that received the second injection only 1 week before the observation day did not differ significantly in behaviour from those that received the injection 3 weeks before the observation day. Thus, the behaviour seems to change soon after the second injection and these changes remain until slaughter.
doi:10.1017/s175173111000011x pmid:22444270 fatcat:ivyhtvsdafe5bdhhdx4fft5rxq