United Kingdom

Issues of Entire Boar Production

Pig looking out

Boar Taint

Boar taint occurs in sexually mature male pigs; pork from these animals can produce an unsavoury odour when cooking and an unpleasant flavour when eaten. This is caused by two naturally occurring compounds:

  • Androstenone – A male pheromone synthesised in the testes. Androstenone has a URINE ODOUR.

  • Skatole – A metabolite of tryptophan produced in the hindgut of the pig which is excreted by females and castrates, but stored in the fat of entire males. Skatole has a FAECAL ODOUR.

Three quarters of consumers are sensitive to boar taint, this can significantly influence meat buying choices, and hence the profitability of British Pig Farming.


Sexual maturing/mature boars exhibit fighting and mounting behaviour which can result in:

  • Mortality

  • Lameness

  • Injuries

  • Pregnant gilts

  • Skin lesions