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Newsletter 8th November 2004's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 8th November 2004
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

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* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in the US, where the trade fight over importation of hogs from Canada has brought new attention to a controversial law that would award U.S. hog producers any money collected from duties on Canadian pigs.
    The biggest potential winner, reports the DesMoines Register, is Pork giant Smithfield Co., which controls 15 percent of U.S. hog production. Other U.S. companies and individual farmers will receive payments based on the sizes of the operations.

The National Pork Producers Council says that US pork producers continue to overwhelmingly support the trade ruling. According to Jon Caspers, immediate past president of NPPC, unfair Canadian trade practices have resulted in an influx of Canadian hog imports to the U.S., which have caused financial harm to U.S. pork producers.

The Anti-dumping duties "is unfair to producers on both sides of the border," says Ab Freig, The Puratone Company, Manitoba, Canada (25,000 sows). "Hundreds of American producers rely on the healthy and good quality supply of pigs from Canada," says Freig. "The people who launched this trade action lack full understanding of the long-term impact of imposing such a duty."

The trade challenge launched by the US has led to the creation of a trade task team comprising the Manitoba Pork Council and Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI), Minister Rosann Wowchuk said last week.
    "We agree with the pork industry that we need to take a unified stand on our position, and developing this team approach is the first step," said the minister.
    "Our goal is sustaining and advancing Manitoba's hog and pork industries and, by working together in a proactive way, we can better counter the pork dumping charges."
    Manitoba’s pork industry includes about 1,400 producers and adds approximately C$2 billion to the province’s economy.

Pseudorabies freedom: The NPPC has reported that the National Pseudorabies Control Board have declared commercial swine herds in all 50 states to be free of the Pseudorabies Virus (PRV) for the first time in history. “This is tremendous news for the pork industry and is a direct result of producer-driven programs to eradicate PRV that were started in 1989,” said NPPC President Keith Berry.

In their weekly review of the US hog industry, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain report that the mandatory price reporting legislation was not renewed before congress took the election recess.
    However, most packers are continuing to report on a voluntary basis, and for the first week it appears about 98% of the volume has continued.
     They also say that this has been a good week for hog producers. Cash top hog prices last Friday were from $2.25 to $5.50 per cwt above 7 days earlier. Pork demand and especially live hog demand continues to be unbelievably strong.

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Japan has confirmed that it will send inspectors to view Thai chicken and pork processing plants in November, while ruling out any link between the inspections and bilateral free trade negotiations, the Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and Cooperatives revealed last week. The secretary stressed that both countries would benefit from a proposed free trade area (FTA) deal, which the two prime ministers were eager to sign.

In the UK, spot and contract prices for pigmeat have remained almost unchanged for the fifth week in succession. The GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price (DAPP) moved fractionally up to close at 100.3p/kg and most spot baconers were traded within a narrow 99–102p/kg range.
    At this time of year lighter pigs normally earn a 10-15p/kg premium, but lighter weights are currently worth just an extra 4–6p/kg.

In Northern Ireland, the current Aujeszky's Disease (Pseudorabies) eradication programme is too complicated and is not offering local producers a meaningful way forward, according to Ulster Farmers' Union pigs committee secretary Aileen Smyth.
    She says that DARD must introduce an effective testing and eradication programme immediately, or trade will be affected, as Britain is free of the disease and the Republic of Ireland is working towards being Aujeszky's-free.

The Welsh Assembly's rural affairs committee is planning a special showing of the video of conditions at the pig farm where the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis started, report FWi. Glyn Davies, who farms at Berriew in north Powys – where many lost their stock – has frequently criticised government handling of the outbreak.
     "I want every assembly member to realise that a full public inquiry would probably have revealed that this devastating and expensive crisis could have been prevented," he said.
See also: Video raises FMD theory doubts

Training geared to a pig unit's needs will improve conception rates, mortality, pigs-reared-per-sow and pigs-sold by around 12 percent, according to research. The problem is that there isn't a national training scheme that is indeed "geared to a unit's needs" - so consultant Gerry Brent has been working the National Proficiency Tests Council to produce one up from scratch, according to NPA.

A team of researchers has found antibiotic use in animal production results in healthier animals, and the meat from these animals has lower levels of bacteria that can cause food-borne illness in people. University of Minnesota researchers developed a mathematical model to evaluate the potential human health risks and benefits of the use of the antibiotic tylosin in chickens.
     They compared the potential risks associated with increased levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in meat with the potential benefits associated with decreased risk of food-borne illness.

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Most analysts have predicted that the gross output of UK farming will decline following implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy reforms. That forecast is based on the fact that with support decoupled from production, farmers will no longer be obliged to grow crops or keep livestock on the scale they have done for many years.
     However, there has been a gradual downsizing of the industry, especially in the livestock sector, which has largely gone unnoticed. A continuation of this trend will have serious implications for the entire economy. In the pig sector, the breeding herd declined from a UK total of 661,000 in 1999 to just 498,000, according to this year's June census. Not surprisingly, there has been a parallel increase in imports.

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 4 new features this week:

Alphamune G trial delivers improved performance, financial benefits
By Alpharma Animal Health - The results of this trial using feed supplemented with Alphamune G showed not only an improvement in performance and a reduced need for interventions, but also financial benefits, when compared to untreated controls.

Feeding High-fat Oats to Swine
By P.A. Thacker, Ph.D. and B.G. Rossnagel, Ph.D., Departments of Animal Science and Plant Science, University of Saskatchewan. Published by Manitoba Pork Council - Feeding a recently developed high-fat oat to pigs improved growth rate and efficiency of feed conversion when compared with normal-fat oat.

UK/EU Pig Statistics - October 2004
This article provides an overview of the latest statistics relating to pigs in the UK and Europe and includes Slaughter figures, Carcase weights, Pigmeat production, trade and supplies and UK and EU Prices and value of pigs. Extracted from the quarterly pig bulletin published by Defra.

UK/EU Pig Populations - October 2004
This article is extracted from Chapter 5. of the quarterly pig bulletin published by Defra and provides a brief overview of the latest statistics relating to pig populations in the UK and Europe.

* This Weeks Practical Tip (link to weekly tips page)
Extracted from
Buy this book
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Topic: The Management of Infertility
Subject: Artificial Insemination

This weeks tip overviews Artificial Insemination and provides a list of key points to successful AI.


NEXT WEEK'S TIP: Maintaining longevity in the breeding female

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Ingelvac PRRS KV - for the control of PRRS in breeding sows and gilts.

* Finally...

Dutch Shut 140 Farms Over Dioxin Scare

The Dutch agriculture ministry this week temporarily shut 140 cattle, pig, sheep and goat farms after cancer-causing dioxin was discovered in milk produced by two of them, the ministry said.
     All the farms were feeding animals with a special potato product that the ministry said had been contaminated with dioxin and was produced by Canadian company McCain.
     The company through a spokesman said it had found dioxin in a feed, blocked sales of the affected product and launched an investigation.
     "The closure is a prevention measure because we want to investigate whether there is dioxin contamination in the other farms and a spread into the food chain," a spokeswoman for the ministry said.
     The ministry spokeswoman said a result from the livestock farms investigation could be expected next week.
     The Belgian food safety agency said eight Belgian farms had been closed as a precaution after the Dutch dioxin scare. The eight were mostly pig farms that had received special potato products from the Netherlands to feed animals.
     Contaminated feed was at the root of recent European food scares such as the discovery of an illegal hormone in Dutch pigs in 2002 and the 1999 Belgian scandal of dioxin in chickens.
     Dioxins are one of a number of toxic chemicals that originate in pesticides or industrial processes, leach into rivers and lakes and build up in the flesh of fish and animals.

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That's all for this week.


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