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Newsletter 29th August 2005

thePigSite.com's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter thePigSite.com's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 29th August 2005
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in the Eastern Cape, South Africa where a Swine Fever outbreak has been brought under control, the Agriculture and Land Affairs Department said on Friday. Spokesperson Steve Galane said only small areas in the Western and Eastern Cape were still affected by the disease that was detected last month. The three areas still affected are Queenstown, Cookhouse near Port Elizabeth and the Mnquma-Mbashe municipality.
     Galane said no live pigs -- domestic pigs, bush pigs and wart hogs -- were allowed to move through, into or out of the affected areas and no pork products, raw or processed, were allowed out of the quarantined areas.
     A total of 3847 pigs were put down in the province on Thursday in the battle to contain the outbreak. This brought to 5998 the number of pigs that have been put down in the province since the culling started this week.
     "Today we have culled 1492 pigs in Queenstown, in Qholorha we put down 240 and the number in Cookhouse is 2115 - these are weaners that were brought in from Queenstown," said the senior manager for veterinary services for the provincial Department of Agriculture, Lubabalo Mrwebi.
     KwaZulu-Natal veterinary authorities said Thursday that they were beginning patrols of the province’s border with Eastern Cape to stop the spread of the disease. “No pigs or pig products from Eastern Cape will be allowed in our province,” Bonny Byedwa, acting manager for veterinary services in the KwaZulu-Natal south region said.

Chinese scientists have developed a new technology to test the pig-borne disease caused by swine Streptococcus suis more effectively, reports state media. The new technology will take only one hour and a half to spot the bacteria, while the traditional method takes three to seven days.
     The technology was developed by experts with the Beijing Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine Department and the China Veterinary Products Supervision Institute.

On a positive note, a leading researcher of Streptococcus suis has become the first foreign specialist invited to the mainland to study the deadly outbreak. Marcelo Gottschalk runs the International Reference Laboratory for identifying S. suis at the University of Montreal.
     He said his unit is one of three world-class labs studying the bacteria and, to the best of his knowledge, the only one invited to collaborate with mainland laboratories to identify the current outbreak.

China's top food inspector was quoted on Wednesday as saying pork from southwest Sichuan province, hardest hit by a pig-borne disease that has killed about 40 people, is safe. Hong Kong, where six people have fallen ill from the disease, said it too was confident the outbreak under control and that it had decided to resume imports of pork from Sichuan, China's top pork-producing region, the China Daily reported.
     "Pork from Sichuan, including previously disease-stricken areas, is safe and up to standard," Li Changjiang, minister of China's State General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, was quoted as saying.

In the US, the federal government and the commercial farming industry are beginning to take action to protect the effectiveness of antibiotics in people by restricting their use in farm animals, reports The Boston Globe. At the end of July, the Food and Drug Administration told the poultry industry to stop using the antibiotic Baytril, which is effective against many different germs, fearing that its continued use would weaken the use of similar antibiotics in people.
     And earlier this month, pig-farming giant Smithfield Foods announced it would reduce the number of antibiotics it feeds its animals. McDonald's, and several other restaurant chains, already prefer to buy meat raised with reduced levels of antibiotics. Federal legislation is pending to help wean farmers off the use of the drugs the paper says.

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Meanwhile, Smithfield Packing Company announced Thursday that it will shift hog processing operations from its Smithfield South facility (formerly Smithfield Packing) to its Smithfield North (formerly Gwaltney) and Tar Heel, North Carolina, facilities on October 28, allowing the company to convert the vacant plant space to value-added fresh pork and processed meats production in 2006.
    “This difficult but necessary decision to discontinue hog processing at the Smithfield plant is driven largely by hog availability and competitive industry conditions,” said Joseph W. Luter, IV, president of Smithfield Packing. “This lack of hog supply is the direct result of the moratorium on hog farms in North Carolina and the de facto moratorium in Virginia.”

In their weekly review of the US hog industry, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain discuss the USDA's latest study on factors affecting pork consumption in the US. Men consume 66% more pork than women, they say while pork consumption of men increases until they reach their 50s then declines as they age.
     Pork consumption by women also increases until they reach their 50's then declines as they age, but the rate of women’s decline in quantity consumed after reaching their 50's is less than men.

Animal advocates in the US denounced the passage of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement as a “deadly disaster” for farmed animals and wildlife. Prior to the vote, a letter signed by over 100 animal organizations was sent to every member of the House condemning DR-CAFTA.
     Activists charge that the agreement will lead to massive expansion of cruel and unsanitary “factory farm” agriculture. This intensive confinement industrial production system is responsible for the vast majority of pig, chicken, turkey and egg products produced in the United States, but is still uncommon in Central America.
     DR-CAFTA will force member countries to eliminate tariffs and sanitary barriers on U.S. agricultural imports, allowing U.S. agribusiness to flood these countries with cheap pork, beef, chicken, eggs, turkey and dairy products.

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In Canada, a Manitoba based Home Economist says new food labelling regulations due to take effect will give consumers the information they need to make healthier food choices, according to Farmscape.
     Under new food labelling regulations due to take effect in December prepackaged foods will be required to carry nutrition labelling which outlines 13 core ingredients, including trans fats.

The University of Alberta warns, with this summer's combination of abundant rain and warm temperatures, livestock producers will need to be on alert for potentially elevated levels of fusarium infection in feed grains. Fusarium head blight is a fungal infection that primarily affects cereal crops.
     University of Alberta Feed Industry Chair Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra says the main concern among livestock producers is vomitoxin. "Vomitoxin can be very toxic especially to pigs but also to other livestock species.
Also see this weeks Tip below

The world is eating more meat than ever before with the pork and poultry sectors the biggest winners from the growing demand, reports Australian Broadcaster, ABC. On average, every person now consumes more than 41 kilograms of meat each year, double the amount in the 1970s. Australia's consumption of chicken now rivals beef.

In the UK, vaccinating animals in the event of another foot-and-mouth outbreak could leave individual Welsh livestock farmers financially crippled, NFU Cymru has warned. The warning was included in the union’s response to a consultation on transposing the EU’s F&M directive into domestic legislation. The consultation closes on Sept 2.
     The union said it had a number of concerns with the proposed vaccination strategy. Its first concern was that meat from vaccinated animals would not be able to go into the food chain unless it was heat treated, deboned and matured.

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In the UK, a dramatic increase in imported produce is threatening the future of pig farmers, a report has warned. The number of pork imports rose by 50 per cent last year, of which two-thirds would have been illegal to produce in this country as it did not meet UK legal welfare standards.
     The report by the British Pig Executive (BPEX) said 793,000 tonnes of imported pork flooded into the UK during 2004, with retail sales rising by nearly 50 per cent and the amount used in bacon production soaring by 72 per cent up against 2002.

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 4 new features this week:

Searching for Alternatives to Antibiotic Growth Promoters
By the North Carolina State University - The use of antibiotics for growth promotion in swine feeds has come under serious scrutiny in the last few years due to concerns about their potential effects on antibiotic resistance in humans. This has led to a ban of growth-promoting antibiotics in Sweden in 1986, in Denmark in 1995 and 1999, and the decision by the EU to ban five antibiotics for growth promotion in 1999.

Disease-Related Trade Restrictions Shaped Animal Product Markets in 2004 and Stamp Imprints on 2005 Forecasts
By the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) - This report looks at Disease outbreaks and related trade restrictions that affected U.S. animal-product markets and exports in 2003, and how they continued to constrain markets in 2004.

The use of meat/bone meal as organic farming fertiliser
By Prof. Dr. Dr. Ewald Schnug, Federal Agricultural Research Centre (FAL), Institute for Plant Nutrition and Soil Science - Meat and bone meal (MBM) contains mineral elements essential for all organisms, typically 6-8% Nitrogen (N) and 5-6% Phosphorus (P). Phosphorus is essentially short lived and non renewable.

Hog Price Forecast Errors in the last 10 and 15 Years: University, Futures, and Seasonal Index
By John Lawrence & Priscila Aguiar, Iowa Farm Outlook, University of Iowa - One of the main goals of livestock price forecasts is to reduce the risk associated with decisions that producers make. Thus, the producers need instruments that decrease or at least identify the risk, and help the producer’s decision.

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* This Weeks Practical Tip (link to weekly tips page)
Extracted from
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Topic: The Management of Infertility
Subject: Diseases/Conditions that can indirectly affect Reproductive Loss - An Overview

This weeks tip looks at Trichothecenes (Mycotoxins)- (6 of 7).

This weeks tip: Diseases/Conditions that can indirectly affect Reproductive Loss - Trichothecenes (Mycotoxins)- (6 of 7).

NEXT WEEK'S TIP: Diseases/Conditions that can indirectly affect Reproductive Loss - An Overview - Zearalenone (Mycotoxins)- (7 of 7)

* Finally...

Nuclear waste row leaves bad smell in Lithuania

     A bizarre diplomatic skirmish has broken out after Belarus retaliated against Lithuania's decision to build a radioactive waste dump close to their shared border by announcing plans to put two giant pig farms in sniffing distance of its neighbour.
     The spat on the fringe of the European Union started when officials in Vilnius confirmed it would build the storage facility about 700 metres from the Belarussian border.
     Minsk complained that it had not been consulted and the facility would threaten its nearby Braslavsky lakes national park.
     Now it has retaliated with a project of its own: two farm complexes for a total of 216,000 pigs close to Lithuania's southern border, one beside a river that runs straight into the Baltic country. The plans were leaked to newspapers by the Belarussian agriculture ministry.
     The Lithuanian prime minister, Algirdas Brazauskas, condemned the plans in a radio interview this week, saying: "Construction of a pig complex in the Neman river basin would be a barbarous act."
     Waste could flow down the river to a popular spa resort at Druskininkai in south-west Lithuania, officials in Vilnius believe.
     The foreign minister, Antanas Valionis, said that the "significant increase in pollution of Lithuanian rivers" could prompt sanctions against Belarus.
     Officially, Minsk denies the pig farms plan is linked to its displeasure over the dry storage facility, to be used for material from Lithuania's Ignalina nuclear power station, which is to be decommissioned by 2009.

That's all for this week.

Ed.

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