According to the experts, rearing the entire male population is the consequent way to ensure comprehensive protection for animals and implementation suitable in practice. The first results on husbandry of young boars give grounds for optimism. However, further going investigations into the feeding and management of the non-castrated animals are required. Enterprises in the meat industry and in retailing are open to this option. Moreover, a study among consumers found that consumers find little difference between a low-fat chop from a young boar and traditional pork.
There was unanimity amongst the experts that the market should not be fragmented. Apart from rearing the entire male population, immunocastration or anaesthesia by inhalation (isoflurane) also need to be further evaluated for their suitability on a transition basis. Until an alternative procedure is finally ready for deployment in practice, the QS scheme continues to prescribe the use of painkillers when castrating piglets. QS piglet breeders have already been practising this intermediate step for 18 months now. A violation against this animal welfare requirement will represent an exclusion criterion as from 2011.