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Newsletter 21st February 2005's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 21st February 2005
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter


We have two new publications available for browsing:

New Swine Bibliography (in association with Merial)

and Pig Journal Vol: 54 on CDROM

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in the US, where pork exports ended the year of 2004 on a strong note, write Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain. Exports to Japan which were up 50.6% in December compared to 12 months earlier. The largest monthly pork export of record occurred in November, the second largest in October, and the third largest in December.

Seperately, Ron Plain also reports that U.S. pork exports were a record high for the 13th consecutive year in 2004. Pork exports totaled 2.179 billion pounds (carcass weight equivalent) up 462.8 million pounds (27%) from the year before. Just the increase in U.S. exports over 2003 was more pork than the United States exported in any year prior to 1994. The U.S. exported twice as much pork in 2004 as in 1997 and nearly nine times as much as was exported in 1990.

Rural areas are suffering a drought of food-animal veterinarians which is causing concern reports Thomas Geyer in the Q-C Times. A couple years back, Arthur Holevoet of Atkinson, Illinois, was in need of a veterinarian to care for one of his goats that was in distress giving birth. "It took calls to seven different vets before I got one that would work on large animals," he said.
     Holevoet’s plight underscores a problem that is facing farmers - while there are many veterinarians to care for pets and horses, fewer and fewer are working on food animals, such as pigs and cows and goats. Jim Fraley, the livestock program director for the Illinois Farm Bureau said the organization has embarked on an ambitious plan to grow the livestock industry in the state. In order for the effort to be successful, he said, the infrastructure has to be in place and that means attracting more people to be large animal vets.

The Canadian Pork Council expects a new pork equivalency agreement between Canada and the European Union to gradually open the door to increased Canadian pork exports into that market. Final amendments to an agreement for pork equivalency, under a 1998 treaty between Canada and the EU on sanitary measures to protect public and animal health with respect to trade in animals and animal products, are expected to be approved next month.

Britain is at serious risk of another foot and mouth outbreak if it continues to import beef from countries like Brazil where the disease is rife, Farmers for Action has warned. The pressure group says that as long as Britain continues to import meat from countries like Brazil that is riddled with the disease, there will always be a risk of Britain being hit with another epidemic.

As most pig producers are aware, from this June slurry will be defined as waste - and producers who have more of it than they need will have to ask for permission before they can send it to other farms.
     "It's a nonsense," declares NPA chairman Stewart Houston, who will be pressing Defra to agree a generic exemption for the pig sector. In a recent meeting with food and farming minister Lord Whitty he questioned the rationale behind defining an economically important organic product as "waste".

Sharply rising EU pigmeat prices are beginning to buoy up UK quotes, though the market is slow to react, reports Peter Crichton on FWi. The six main EU markets moved up by almost 7% last week, touching 98p/kg with producer quotes in France, Germany and Belgium all above the equivalent of 100p/kg. Although the slow moving GB Euro DAPP only rose by 0.24p/kg to stand at 100.54p, spot prices rose sharply.

Vira-Matrix - Herd Health, Naturally.
Vira-Matrix - Herd Health, Naturally.

In Russia, prices for a number of key food ingredients have risen in January and February, according to a recent survey, and supply difficulties are expected to keep costs high for the foreseeable future, reports
     China has recently become Russia's biggest supplier of sodium erythorbate, an antioxidant used in meat and poultry processing. However, the Chinese government has introduced a strict production quota system because of concerns about the environmental impact. This in turn has led to a shortfall in supplies and a rise in prices.

In the Philippines, meat imports rose significantly in 2004 compared to 2003. According to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the National Veterinary Quarantine Service (NVQS). The country's imports for other meat products also swelled. This includes a 22.45 percent increase for pork to 55,570 tons; poultry, up by 26.4 percent to 29,670 tons; processed meat, up by 23 percent to 11,280 tons; and egg, up by 27 percent to 600 tons.

In Hungary, farmers angered by agricultural authorities' delay in paying them EU subsidies began on Thursday what they plan to be a series of protests in Budapest. Only around 50 farmers appeared in front of the Parliament building for the protest Thursday morning, but organisers expect the number to swell to around 1,000 later in the day. "Every day, there are more promises but less money," the president of the Hungarian Hog Breeders said.

On the research front, recent work by Dr Niamh O'Connell, Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland and funded by the Pig Production Development Committee and DARD, investigated whether it was possible to reduce variability in weight at slaughter through using different regrouping regimes. The study concluded that forming even-weight groups at the start of the finishing period makes more efficient use of finishing accommodation.

PROGRESSIS - Inactivated PRRS Vaccine for Sows and Gilts.
PROGRESSIS - Inactivated PRRS Vaccine for Sows and Gilts

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 7 new features this week:

Porcine Immunology Part 3: The battle between the immune system and pathogens
By Eileen Thacker, Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, Iowa State University and published by The Pig Journal - To improve the veterinarian’s and student’s knowledge and understanding of the rapidly evolving field of immunology, Eileen Thacker has very kindly written a three-part series of articles on porcine immunology.

Depopulation: The importance of doing it properly
By DuPont Animal Health Solutions - There are now a number of programmes for eliminating diseases from pig units but they are doomed to failure unless the pathogens are eliminated from the unit as well as the animals.

Pork Outlook Report - February 2005
By U.S.D.A., Economic Research Service - This article is an extract from the February 2005: Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook Report, highlighting Global Pork Industry data. The report indicates that, in 2004, exporters shipped 2.2 billion pounds of U.S. pork products to foreign markets, the largest export quantity ever, and a full 27 percent more than in 2003.

Impact of genetic selection on management of boar replacement
By J.A.B. Robinson, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph and M. Buhr, Corresponding author. This paper briefly reviews current optimum genetic selection procedures and how an AI stud can best manage their selection program; looks at the traits that may be selected for in the future; and examines the implications of genetic selection on the day-to-day handling of boars in an AI station.

USDA Livestock and Products Semi-Annual Reports 2005
By USDA, FAS - These articles provides the pork industry data from the USDA FAS Livestock and Products Semi-Annual 2005 reports: Denmark, Brazil Mexico.

Suvaxyn - Pig vaccines you can trust
Suvaxyn - Pig vaccines you can trust

* This Weeks Practical Tip (link to weekly tips page)
Extracted from
Buy this book
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Topic: The Management of Infertility
Subject: Diseases and conditions affecting Reproduction - Bacterial and Fungal Diseases Causing Infertility

This weeks tip looks at Bacterial and Fungal Diseases Causing Infertility.

This weeks tip: Diseases and conditions affecting Reproduction - Bacterial and Fungal Diseases Causing Infertility

NEXT WEEK'S TIP: Diseases that Directly Affect Reproductive Loss - Aujeszky's Disease (AD) - Pseudorabies (PR)

* Finally...

This little piggy has depression

UK - Scientists now say they can tell a happy animal from a sad one. But should this discovery inform the way we look after them?

Should we be using IQ as a benchmark for how we treat what we eat? Dr Michael Mendl, from Bristol University, has been studying pigs for 16 years and conducted a research project on the animals with Dr Suzanne Held, also from Bristol, and Professor Richard Byrne, from St Andrews. Mendl and Herne were mimicking experiments that had been performed on apes, which showed how similar primate intelligence is to human intelligence.

Mendl was interested to see if studies such as these, showing just how smart apes, dolphins and monkeys were, would also show that farm animals were not intelligent. And, if so, could such findings justify our treatment of livestock?

Traditionally, scientists searching for insight into animal intelligence have tended to equate a high IQ with a level of consciousness analogous to our own. But Professor Marian Dawkins, an animal behaviourist at Oxford University, argues that there is a "pitfall" in linking consciousness to intelligence. Mendl agrees.

"There is an implicit assumption that the more clever an animal is, the more likely it is to suffer, and I'm not sure that there is a clear link between the two," he says. An accurate assessment of how animals feel, as well as how they think, is vital to ensure a high standard of animal welfare, he says.

AP - Your Source for swine production equipment
AP - Your Source for swine production equipment

That's all for this week.


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