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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2022, Vol. 21 Issue (2): 299-309    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63670-5
Special Issue: 动物营养合辑Animal Nutrition
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Recent advances in immunocastration in sheep and goat and its animal welfare benefits: A review
ZENG Fan-mei1*, DING Yi1, 2*, Teketay WASSIE2, JING Hai-jing1, 2, Sohail AHMED2, LIU Gui-qiong1, 2, JIANG Xun-ping1, 2
1 Key Laboratory of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Ministry of Education, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P.R.China
2 Laboratory of Sheep and Goat Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P.R.China
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Abstract  Castration of male animals is a common practice in the meat industry aimed at reducing aggressive behavior, preventing unpleasant flavor, and controlling undesirable breeding.  For many years, mechanical castration and surgical castration have been practiced to sterilize the animals.  However, these castration methods are not humane because of the associated risk of death, pain, and stress.  Recently, immunocastration targeting the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG) axis has been reported as an animal-friendly approach that circumvents many of the concerns with conventional castration, and suggested by researches as an alternative to surgical castration.  However, there is no compilation of updated information on the use of immunocastration in sheep and goats.  Therefore, this review aims to summarize the developmental process from traditional surgical castration to immunocastration and to screen the process of immune targets.  It also compares the respective advantages and disadvantages of traditional castration technologies and immunocastration, in particular including analyses in the characteristics, features application and welfare benefits of immunocastration in sheep and goats were also analyzed.
Keywords:  immunocastration       reversibility       safety       animal welfare       DNA vaccine  
Received: 09 August 2020   Accepted: 03 January 2021
Fund: This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31972997 and 31772598), and the China Agriculture Research System of MOF and MARA (CARS-38).  
About author:  ZENG Fan-mei, E-mail:; DING Yi, E-mail:; Correspondence JIANG Xun-ping, Tel/Fax: +86-27-8758512, E-mail: * These authors contributed equally to this study.

Cite this article: 

ZENG Fan-mei, DING Yi, Teketay WASSIE, JING Hai-jing, Sohail AHMED, LIU Gui-qiong, JIANG Xun-ping. 2022. Recent advances in immunocastration in sheep and goat and its animal welfare benefits: A review. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 21(2): 299-309.

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