P2 carcass measurement is an “overly simplistic method” and the industry should also be using IMF (Intramuscular Fat) measurements to assess carcass quality, Grant Walling of JSR told delegates at this year’s JSR Genetics conference.
“The methods we use are overly simplistic. Fat depth is a poor indicator of carcass value and the system desperately needs changing,” he said.
Currently, pig producers get paid on the deadweight of their carcasses and P2 measurements are taken to assess back fat.
But Dr Walling said the method was outdated and while other countries had moved forward with their methods, the UK had “stopped still”.
“In Asia they measure meat-eating quality, while in Russia they measure carcass yield, but the UK has stopped still,” he explained.
“Now we are in danger of falling behind and it has to change.”
Dr Walling said pigmeat producers should start being rewarded for the value of their carcasses and said using IMF technology to measure muscle depth would allow for a better classification.
Dr Walling stressed he wasn’t proposing using IMF alone as a measurement of meat quality, but said it would help to improve valuations alongside other technologies such as P2.