ZOETIS – PFIZER
Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis) is the largest global animal health company. In 2009 the Group launched a new technology to help pork farmers and meat packers to produce high-quality pork in an animal-friendly and environmentally sustainable way.
Improvac® (IMPROVEST/Innosure®/Vivax®) is an FDA-approved veterinary prescription product that can be used as an alternative to physical castration in pig management for the control of boar taint, an unpleasant odor occurring when cooking meat from non-castrated male pigs. Effective control of boar taint is essential for the pork industry because of its potential negative effect on perceptions of meat quality.
Physical castration is currently the most common method of controlling boar taint; worldwide more than 95% of male pigs are estimated to be physically castrated. Although successful in reducing boar taint, physical castration has a negative effect on the growth performance of pigs and is also perceived as an animal welfare issue by many consumers.
Improvac provides an animal friendly alternative which is also more sustainable, since it reduces the amount of feed required and waste produced compared to castration based systems.
A full LCA and a certified EPD were therefore needed to support a reliable and suitable environmental communication plan at global level.
LCE performed a full Life Cycle Assessment of Improvac® use at global level, considering the whole pork meat production chain by collecting primary data from all continents; in addition, the analysis also compared the environmental burden of the Improvac system with the more traditional physical castration system.
In 2012, the first Environmental Product declaration of Improvac® was published to provide the Company with a transparent and reliable tool for environmental communication.
From 2012 to 2015 LCE directly supported Zoetis in environmental communication actions to promote Improvac® benefts, including participation to meetings and conferences.
The use of Improvac allows males to grow and spend the better part of their lives without intervention, naturally eating less feed, creating less waste, and have carcasses with a greater percentage of lean meat than castrated male pigs. This improved efficiency, in turn, provide both direct and indirect environmental benefits, principally due to reductions in feed consumption and manure generation.
IMPROVAC is being progressively introduced around the world and is currently registered in over 60 countries.
“With protein demand growing worldwide, IMPROVEST can help the entire pork supply chain be even more sustainable. The LCA analysis shows significant reductions in feed, water and land usage associated with use of IMPROVEST.”
Gloria Basse, vice president, U.S. Pork Business Unit.
The Environmental Benefit Brochure, a project developed for Pfizer Animal Health
G.L. Baldo, M. Matlock, G. Boyd, G. Thoma (2013) The Environmental Benefit Brochure, a project developed for Pfizer Animal Health (now Zoetis) MP13007
Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Product Declaration of an Immunological Product for Boar Taint Control in Male Pigs Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management
Paulo Moraes, Jim Allison, Joseph A. Robinson, Gian Luca Baldo, Fabrizio Boeri, Paola Borla (2012) – Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) of an Immunological Product for Boar Taint Control in Male Pigs Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management – Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, Volume 15, Issue 01, March 2013