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Newsletter 17th October 2005's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter's Weekly Swine Industry Newsletter
Monday 17th October 2005
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

* News Overview (link to ALL this weeks news)

We start this week in the UK where outdoor pig producers are being urged to do their bit to help cut the risk of avian flu infection. The National Pig Association has advised pigmen to redouble their efforts to keep birds out of buildings and away from outdoor pig units.
     Most outdoor sows are fed with spin feeder wagons leaving rich pickings for raiding birds. Dry and pellet-fed indoor and outdoor rearing and finishing units also provide round the clock feed supplies for wild birds.
     Covered ad lib hoppers, culls of non-protected birds and use of audio and visual bird scaring devices are all worth considering. If Avian Flu does reach the UK, it will have a significant effect on the pig industry, which counts an estimated 8,400 mixed pig and poultry holdings, the report says.

Domestic pig prices continue to reflect the lack of any real market confidence throughout the EU as a whole, according to FWi. The GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price has slipped again to 102.09p and has now lost 3.5% in value since May. As a result, contract base prices and spot quotes eased marginally in some areas, although other buyers were prepared to operate at “stand on” levels.
     Spot bacon was traded in the 102–104p/kg range for supplies in the week commencing 17 October, and cutters were quoted between 105–109p/kg. Pigmeat prices as a whole are still higher than a year ago, when the DAPP stood at 100.04p and spot bacon was traded in the 98–102p/kg range.
     Cull sow prices have staged a slight recovery after several weeks of heavy falls, with export abattoirs quoting 69-72p/kg as key German and Dutch markets firmed.

The British pig sector is dynamic and forward-looking according to an exciting snapshot of results from a recent survey.
     Overwhelmingly, producers and managers representing more than half the national herd have indicated an interest in investing in new housing, and increasing productivity through continuous professional development. The survey was carried out in Pig World and also on the NPA and BPEX websites.

Farmers looking for an alternative enterprise to boost sagging profits will have the opportunity of finding out about the potential of contract pig finishing at an open day on an Aberdeenshire farm next week.
     Grampian Country Pork is hosting the open day on Sandy Forbes's farm of Millseat, Craigston, Turriff, on Wednesday at 10.30am. It will show the useful income which could be generated from pigs using existing buildings - with the added bonus of using the muck to reduce fertiliser costs and boost cereal yields.

A series of five EU-funded projects announced last week in the UK are a sign that the bloc is moving to rebuild public confidence in its food industry and is willing to invest more in research and development for the sector.
     The &euro61.6m devoted to the projects are part of a plan by the European Commission to beef up investment in food research and development in the bloc. The effort is part of a plan to get governments and the food industry to put more into R&D to help keep them competitive.
     Only about one per cent of the food industry's turnover is put into R&D compared to between three to five per cent in other industries.

The Chinese government said it has created a new mechanism to warn about outbreaks of animal-borne diseases such as bird flu that might threaten humans. The new mechanism linked the ministries of health and agriculture and was meant to alert the government to disease outbreaks and activate teams of researchers, Xinhua reported last Thursday.
     The announcement came after a disease carried by pigs killed at least 39 people in August in China's south-west, and an outbreak of bird flu earlier this year killed thousands of migratory birds. It said a task force would meet regularly to report on the possible spread of zoonosis, or diseases such as bird flu that could spread from one species to another.
See Also: China to Enact Law on Stock Farming

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

Brazil has confirmed a fresh outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in one of its main beef producing states, jeopardising exports to some of its key markets. The latest case, in Mato Grosso do Sul in the south-west of the country, was confirmed by the ministry of agriculture in Brasilia last Monday.
     "Following confirmation of the infection of 153 animals, all the recommended emergency procedures were adopted,” said a statement. These included the isolation and disinfection of the ranch involved, the slaughter of 582 cattle and eight pigs, and the imposition of a 25km surveillance zone.

The Canadian Pork Council’s working group on hog identification and traceability is now making the final adjustments to a proposed national swine identification and traceability system in preparation for a full public review of the package next month.
     The proposed system is based on a series of pilot studies that evaluated a range of methods for recording animal movement as well as identifiers, such as tags and tattoos, according to Farmscape. The program is being developed as a line of defense against foreign animal disease in the wake of several animal disease outbreaks including incidents involving BSE, foot and mouth disease and avian flu.
     Round one of the consultations, which wrapped up last week, involved the provincial pork organizations and their boards of directors and included meetings in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec.

In their weekly review of the US hog industry, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain say that an explosion at the new Triumph Pork slaughter plant at St. Joseph on Wednesday will delay the opening of the plant. How long the delay will be, is not known, they say.
     The good news is that there is enough slaughter capacity to handle the available hogs. When the plant does open, the odds are high that it will strengthen prices of hogs some, especially in the Midwest.

PIC 380 AI Boar - the ultimate combination in swine genetics
PIC 380 AI Boar - the ultimate combination in swine genetics

The Pork Checkoff has recommended that all swine farm workers get a flu shot in anticipation of the flu season, which runs from October to May. Dr. Liz Wagstrom, assistant vice president of science and technology for the Pork Checkoff, said, “Producers and swine farm workers can reduce the risk of bringing the flu to the farm and infecting the pigs they care for by getting a flu shot.”
     Influenza viruses can be classified as type A, B and C. Type A influenza can be passed between people and pigs. “The flu shot contains two type A viruses that we want to prevent from spreading,” Wagstrom said. ”The vaccine also has a type B virus in the mix, but this type of virus is not of concern to the health of our pigs. Humans will develop antibodies against the flu virus two weeks after taking the flu shot.”

The Director of the University of Minnesota Swine Centre suggests the animal welfare debate needs to focus more on the needs of animals as opposed to their rights and freedoms. He suggests the animal welfare debate often revolves around superimposed human social values, while failing to consider basic needs like health and protection from aggression.
     "If the United Nations or other groups compare the welfare of people across different societies, we can use the same numbers for comparing farms and management systems. We look at whether or not adequate food is available, whether clean water is available, whether pigs are protected or people are protected from aggression. I think we have to get back to some of those numbers.

Exports continued to be a bright spot for U.S. hog producers in 2004, according to recently released data from the USDA. For the year, U.S. pork exports broke the 2003 record by 35 percent, making 2004 the 13th consecutive year of record exports.
     U.S. share of world trade increased by 2.9 percentage points during the year, to 11.5 percent. And the value of U.S. pork exports rose 41 percent to $2.227 billion, a new record.

With eight more deaths reported due to Japanese Encephalitis in India during the last 24 hours, the toll from the disease reached 912 yesterday. Additional Director (Health) Gorakhpur C B M Tripathi told UNI that as many as 25 new cases of the disease have been reported at various hospitals in the region during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of patients to 3942, out of which 912 had died.      Dr Tripathi said that as many as 186 patients were still being treated for the killer disease. Out of this 141 were admitted at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College (BRDMC) Gorakhpur, the hub of the the ailment since July 28, when the first JE case was reported.

In the Philippines, veterinary officials have launched a vaccination program for backyard swine or hog raisers to help maintain the quality of hog stocks. Dr. Lorna Lamorena, veterinarian for the South Cotabato province said they are currently monitoring the operations of the province's backyard hog raisers. The backyard raisers are among the sources of hogs that are being shipped to Manila and other key meat markets in the country.
     From being mere suppliers of local wet markets and small food establishments, the backyard hog raisers are now being utilized by various meat shippers. "These small backyard raisers have been producing quality stocks and we want to maintain that to ensure good markets for them," she said.

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

Company news

PigCHAMP, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Martin Widdowson, as Software Development Manager. As such, he will coordinate development of new and existing software products with members of the development team, and will work closely with senior management as products are brought to the marketplace.
     Widdowson was previously Senior Analyst Programmer for PIC, Inc., out of the company’s headquarters in Franklin, Kentucky. He was with PIC for 17 years before joining PigCHAMP earlier this month.

Sven Guericke from Oldenburg has been appointed Member of the Board of Management of Big Dutchman AG. As of October 1, 2005, the 48-year-old graduate of agricultural engineering will be responsible for the areas of production coordination and logistics at the world market leader for feeding and housing equipment.
     "With Sven Guericke we have won another well-known expert for the Big Dutchman Group" says Chairman of the Supervisory Board Josef Meerpohl. "With his support, we are going to speed up and further develop our successfully started concept of the Big Dutchman logistics service centres around the world.

Animal breeders Sygen International released a statement late on Wednesday confirming that it had recieved an approach after shares moved by 17%. “Sygen International has noted the recent rise in the Company's share price," read the statement. "The company has received an approach that may or may not lead to an offer for the company". Shares in the group forged ahead late afternoon as rumours circulated about a possible approach.

Denagard (tiamulin), a broad-spectrum swine antibiotic for control and treatment of certain swine bacterial diseases, has been purchased by Novartis Animal Health US, Inc. The company announced that an agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. was signed enabling Novartis to acquire the Denagard brand franchise.
     According to Pedro Schmid, senior vice president of the Novartis U.S. farm animal business, the acquisition represents a significant step in the company's efforts to strengthen its position in the livestock industry, but more importantly, will help the company work more closely with swine producers to develop improved pig health programs.

* Feature Articles Overview (link to features listings)

We have 4 new features this week:

Preventing Carcass Losses
By Julia Keenliside, Swine Veterinarian, Alberta Government. When margins are tight, getting the most dollars for every pig marketed is critical. Certain health problems can lead to extra carcass trims and condemnations, reducing any profits made. Many health problems that create carcass losses can be prevented or minimized. Knowing what conditions are causing the losses and what is an acceptable rate for these conditions are important first steps towards reducing carcass losses.

Success with Batch Farrowing
By John Goss, PIC UK - This is the second of three articles by John Goss dedicated to the improvement of AI technique and results.

Meat Quality vs Costs of Production: which way should the industry go?
By Jeff Wood, Professor of Food Animal Science, University of Bristol and presented at the 16th Annual JSR Technical Conference - Both meat quality and costs of production (COP) are clearly important for the future, but whereas reducing COP is a clear objective for BPEX, meat quality seems to have received less attention. My aim in this talk is therefore to make the case for Quality.

Shoulder Ulcers in Sows and their prevention
By Duane E. Reese, Extension Swine Specialist, University of Nebraska; Barbara E. Straw, Extension Veterinarian, Michigan State University and Jess M. Waddell, Oklahoma State University and published by the University of Nebraska - A literature review was conducted on shoulder ulcers in sows. Shoulder ulcers are caused by pressure that the shoulder blade exerts against tissues that overlie it.

MaxiVac Excell 3 - Don't let swine flu spook your herd!
Don't let swine flu spook your herd!

* 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 Sunburn.

This weeks tip: Diseases/Conditions that can indirectly affect Reproductive Loss - Sunburn.

NEXT WEEK'S TIP: Diseases/Conditions that can indirectly affect Reproductive Loss - An Overview - Torsion of the Stomach and Intestines.

* Finally...

If you raise hogs, are you getting all you can out of them?

     Practical Farmers of Iowa is betting you aren't, and is starting up a new project to educate hog farmers and teach them the best management techniques.
     ”Because these farmers often raise hogs without antibiotics,“ said Practical Farmers of Iowa president Gary Huber in a statement, ”better management is needed to address herd health issues. This project will help farmers improve management, resulting in lower costs and increased profits.“
     The program, called the Niche Pork Herd Health and Production Cost Management Project, is paid for by a grant from the USDA, and is a collaboration of the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine, ISU College of Agriculture, ISU Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Nebraska Department of Animal Science, Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Business Association.
     According to Huber, there are three main parts to the program.
     ”The three parts (of the project) are: production cost management, routine herd health diagnostics and intensive herd health diagnostics,“ Huber said. ”Farmers may participate in one, two, or all three parts of the project. But if they are involved in the intensive diagnostic component, they must also participate in the records portion so that the farm's performance changes can be tracked.“

That's all for this week.


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