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Scientists search for stinky schnitzel solution

The Local · 14 Aug 2012, 10:23

Published: 14 Aug 2012 10:23 GMT+02:00

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The practice of castrating piglets destined for the dinner plate without anaesthetic has long been criticised as cruel, and a German law due to take effect in 2017, will ban it.

Humane castration is considered prohibitively expensive for farmers producing cheap meat as they would have to pay for a vet to administer the anaesthetic.

This has prompted fears that much of German produced pork will have the ‘boar taint’ signature musky smell when cooked and this could damage the industry, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported on Monday.

Boar taint is caused by compounds that accumulate in the fat as male pigs become sexually active, the paper said. Not everyone is equally sensitive to it, but some people complain it has an odour like urine or faeces.

So the agriculture ministry has allotted more than €1.1 million for a three-year project to find alternative methods of producing pork without the offensive taste.

Christian Looft at the Institute for Animal Science at University of Bonn is leading research to try to figure out how to select for pigs which do not have the genes that produce boar taint.

“In the old days we had to wait and examine the animal’s offspring. Now we can look directly at its genetic material and determine which ones are more likely to pass those genes on,” Looft told the Local.

He emphasized he was not talking about genetically modified pork, rather a method of deciding which pigs to use for breeding.

“We are just looking at their genetic material, not changing it,” Looft said.

Boars carrying the variations that lead to boar taint would be excluded from breeding, he said.

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The other alternative, Looft explained, was the use of a human pork sniffer—someone who works in the slaughter house, testing cooked meat samples to see if they have the taint.

He said he expected to have developed a workable solution in the next three years—plenty of time before ban on piglet castration ban takes effect in 2017.

The Local/sh

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:00 August 14, 2012 by raandy
Wouldn't it be easier to find a cheaper way to administer an anesthetic before castrating the little piggy.??
14:08 August 14, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Maybe they could just circumcise the piglet instead of castration?

Or better yet, just ask the piglet after he is a few months old if he prefers castration or circumcision?

I never met a piglet who opted for either, once they were old enough to make up their own mind.
19:23 August 14, 2012 by avatar009
Hi all

How many species are link to human cloning, pigs apes lizards cats beer dogs wolfs rats and many more. Well the sumerian tables and Anunuki cloning structure are written. The point is you dont have to eat any thing like rats pigs apes lizards etc, because they are passing genetic errors in your body system. Also you have to know the Alein investetion zones in planet earth specialy the middle east like Egypt, india, scandenavian area and amny more places.

That is all
00:50 August 15, 2012 by Ozichick

There is a huge difference between circumcision and castration.


Having deciphered your illiterate rant, "the point is" that if humans were not meant to be carnivores there would be no need for us to have upper canines. Even to eat pigs. Yes?
03:45 August 15, 2012 by olog-hai
Isn't real schnitzel made of veal rather than pork?

BTW, humans have upper canines. We just don't have elongated canines. Lots of herbivores have elongated canines (e.g. many monkey species, fruit bats, et al). Not an indication of being either carnivore or omnivore.
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