For Consumers >

This site provides technical and program information for veterinarians and farmers. If you are a consumer looking for general information, please visit the IMPROVEST®(gonadotropin releasing factor analogdiphtheria toxoid conjugate) Consumer Resource Center.

Impact on the Environment

The environment is of significant importance to the pork industry and its customers.7 The environmental impact of U.S. pork production is relatively low (0.33% of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions).8 Incremental reductions in these emissions remain a high priority.

As part of the overall commitment to help farmers further reduce greenhouse gases, Zoetis has sponsored and had validated by a third party an ISO-compliant global Life Cycle Assessment for the related global brand IMPROVAC®. The LCA measured the environmental impact of allowing pigs to grow longer as intact males with IMPROVAC. The assessment concluded that this approach has the potential for an incremental reduction in the carbon footprint vs. barrows.6

Consumers and retailers alike are asking food supply chains to re-evaluate their impact on the environment.

Using IMPROVEST® creates an opportunity to gain other efficiencies from growing intact male pigs. By eliminating the need for physical castration, the animals grow to their full potential with all the inherent advantages of intact males until the second dose. They convert feed to meat more efficiently, meaning they eat less feed, produce less waste, while creating more pork3,4. Physically castrated pigs grow less efficiently.

Zoetis sponsored the first ISO-compliant global Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for an animal health product. The LCA measured the environmental impact of allowing pigs to grow longer as intact males. The assessment concluded that this approach has the potential for a reduction in carbon footprint by as much as 3.7 percent (measured in CO2 equivalent per kilogram of pig live weight) vs. physical castrates5,6.

Advantages also were documented in U.S environmental white paper studies done by the following authors Garth Boyd, Ph.D., PAS, The Prasino Group, Greg Thoma, Ph.D., University of Arkansas, Marty Matlock, Ph.D., University of Arkansas and Gian Luca Baldo, Ph.D., Life Cycle Engineering

The growing global demand for animal protein requires all of us to do more with less. Zoetis recognizes the importance of Improvest enabling producers, processors and retailers to be socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable. At the same time, the adoption of Improvest in the U.S. alone will save the equivalent of the following resources7:

To see the The Environmental Benefits Brochure7 Click here >

Estimate impact for farmers or packers7

Estimate impact for food retailer or food services companies7

  • Quick Facts: The Pork Industry at a Glance. Des Moines, IA: National Pork Board. 2009:61.
  • Data from EPA Greenhouse Gas Report, 2007. Available at: Accessed on March 21, 2011.
  • MacKinnon J, Pearce M. IMPROVAC (Pfizer Animal Health): an immunological product for the control of boar taint in male pigs. II.
    Practical application in pig production and potential production benefits. The Pig Journal 2007; 59:68-90.
  • Boler D, Kutzler L, Meeuwse D, et al. Effects of increasing lysine levels on carcass composition and cutting yields of immunologically castrated
    male pigs. J AniSci 2011; doi:10.2527/jas.2010-3640.
  • The International EPD System. IMPROVAC. Available at: Accessed on February 25, 2014.
  • Moraes P.J.U, Allison J., Robinson J.A., Baldo G.L., Boeri F., Borla P. (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, accepted on Oct 18, 2012.
  • Garth Boyd, Ph.D., PAS, Greg Thoma, Ph.D., Marty Matlock, Ph.D., and Gian Luca Baldo. The Environmental Benefits Derived from the Use of an Immunological Alternative to Physical Castration by the US Pork Industry – Zoetis Environmental White Paper - 2013