Intact

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Intact.jpg

Etymology

Middle English intacte, from Latin intactus, from in- + tactus, past participle of tangere to touch — more at tangent

Definitions

  • 1 : untouched especially by anything that harms or diminishes : entire, uninjured
  • 2 of a living body or its parts : having no relevant component removed or destroyed: a : physically virginal
b : not castrated

Description

In animal husbandry, entire (or intact) indicates an animal has not been desexed, i.e., spayed (female) or neutered (male).

Animals are desexed for selective breeding purposes. Males may also be neutered in order to make them more tractable or meatier. A specialized vocabulary has arisen for neutered animals of given species, see more at castration.

Except where a desexed pet is desirable, entire animals usually fetch much higher prices than castrated ones, mostly because they retain the ability to breed. There are various health effects of the decision to leave an animal intact, or to castrate it.