Is gene editing an acceptable alternative to castration in pigs?

Maria Cristina Yunes, Dayane L. Teixeira, Marina A.G. von Keyserlingk, Maria J. Hötzel

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Male piglets are commonly castrated to eliminate the risk of boar taint. Surgical castration is the commonly used procedure and is known to induce pain. Gene modification targeted at eliminating boar taint in male pigs has been proposed as a possible alternative to surgical castration. The aims of this study were to explore public acceptability of this biotechnology using a mixed methods approach. Quantitative data to assess acceptability of 570 participants from southern Brazil were analysed with multinomial logistic regression models and Spearman correlations; qualitative responses of the reasons provided in support of their position were coded into themes. Just over half of the participants (56%) considered gene modification of male pigs acceptable. Acceptability was lower among participants who grew up in an agricultural environment (ρ = 0.02), but was not influenced by sex, age, religion, urban or rural living, or level of education. Acceptability of gene modification of male pigs as an alternative to surgical castration was positively related to the perception of benefits (r = -0.56, ρ
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


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