sows resting in group pen Jevtic/iStock/Thinkstock

Swine geneticists developing methods to breed less-aggressive pigs

As more pregnant sows are kept in larger groups, reducing aggressive behavior through breeding has become important priority.

Michigan State University animal geneticist Juan Steibel is leading a group of researchers to develop methods to breed pigs that are less aggressive. He has received a three-year grant of nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture for this project, which is supported by the Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture and the National Pork Board.

For centuries, pork producers have bred pigs for desirable physical characte

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