Traceability of extensively produced Iberian pigs using visual and electronic identification devices from farm to slaughter

L. F. Gosálvez, C. Santamarina, X. Averós, M. Hernández-Jover, G. Caja, D. Babot

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12 Citations (Scopus)


A total of 351 Iberian pigs with equal numbers of both sexes from 2 commercial farms were used to study the ability of various identification devices to guarantee the traceability required for labeled meat products from Iberian pigs reared under extensive production conditions in Spain. The performance of tattoos, visual ear tags, electronic ear tags, and i.p.-injected transponders of half duplex and full duplex technologies were compared during a production cycle from nursery to slaughter at 15 mo of age (156 ± 3 kg of BW). No major health reactions to any of the identification methods were detected. Results showed that tattooing was not an adequate identification procedure due to reading difficulties as a consequence of dark skin, soiled appearance, and figure deformation. Ear tag losses and failures were affected by fencing type and increased in one of the farms (20.4 and 15.7% for losses and failures, respectively; P < 0.05) as a consequence of using barbedwire fences. Ear tag losses decreased when fences changed to stone blocks at 365 d of age. Visual and electronic ear tag losses during transport and slaughter were low (3.7% for visual and 3.1% for electronic tag). Results of injectable transponders during the growing-fattening period were variable and were more readable for the half duplex than for the full duplex i.p. transponders (92.0 vs. 68.7% ± 1.5; P < 0.05). Handheld transceivers worked properly under extensive conditions, although the body size and skin characteristics of the Iberian breed might limit the performance of reading devices, and the use of transceivers with longer reading distances is recommended. The main problem observed with i.p. transponders was their low recovery rate at slaughter due to the lack of adherence of the transponders to the omentum. ©2007 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2746-2752
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007


  • Ear tag
  • Electronic identification
  • Extensive production
  • Iberian pig
  • Intraperitoneal transponder
  • Traceability


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