The number of entire male pigs slaughtered in Great Britain has increased steadily over the past 10 years and they now constitute some 45 per cent of the national population. Although there has been concern about possible boar taint, the industry has apparently experienced few problems. However, boar taint continues to be a major concern in other countries, possibly reflecting heavier slaughter weights and breed differences. Limited evidence indicates that earlier maturing breeds, such as the Pietrain and Duroc, tend to have more taint than other breeds of the same weight or age. This has implications for the wider use of specialist meat type sires which now supply atleast 10 per cent of the genes in the commercial British slaughter population.