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Newsletter 6th February 2006

Monday 6th February 2006
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Welcome to this weeks newsletter

*Latest News (link to all this weeks news)

This week we start in the Southern German state of Bavaria where, just days after being hit by a new scandal involving mislabeled spoiled meat, Germany had to temporarily close off five pig farms suspected of using dioxin-contaminated animal feed.
     Pigs from several German farms have been slaughtered for testing, while more than 650 EU farms, including five in Germany, remained quarantined on Wednesday after it became clear that faulty filters at a chemical plant in the Netherlands caused abnormal levels of the poison dioxin to reach animal feed.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, the Dutch food and safety authority (VWA) said most of the pig farms sealed off as a precaution due to the dioxin scare would remain shut until the results of tests on animal feed were known.
     "Test feed results will show what the exact percentage of dioxin is and/or if it is within or above normal limits," VWA said. It did not say when it expected the results to come in.

Belgian chemical maker Tessenderlo said on Wednesday it was too early to discuss compensation over the dioxin in animal feed because the investigation into the contamination was still open.
     "Discussions about compensation and amicable settlements are premature as long as the various investigations are under way," it said in a statement.

As a result of the scare, Japan and South Korea have both imposed a temporary ban on imports of pork from the Netherlands. Dutch Agriculture Minister Cees Veerman said the ban related to possible contamination of the meat by dioxin. Veerman has suspensed trading on over 200 farm businesses linked to the scare.
     The Japanese authorities want the names of these businesses but Veerman's department has refused to release the information. The Japanese were not satisfied with a statement from a top veterinary official that the meat was safe.

In Taiwan, the Department of Health yesterday clarified that all Dutch pork and pig viscera already shipped to Taiwan are safe to eat even though the DOH has imposed an import ban on pork products from the Netherlands for fears of dioxin contamination Friday.
     The DOH imposed a temporary ban on the imports of Dutch pork and pig viscera last week after a foreign news wire reported that said a vat of dioxin-contaminated pork fat used to produce animal feed was sold to the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

The European Commission has set maximum levels for dioxins and PCBs in food as fears grow about the finding of cancer-causing dioxins in pig and poultry feed .
     The limits will take effect from November 2006 giving food processors and other sector companies another parameter to test for when sourcing their ingredients or releasing their products to market. Any food or feed in which the sum of dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs exceeds these maximum levels will not be allowed to be marketed in the EU.
See Also: EC set max levels for dioxins and PCBs in feed and food

Cold weather and demand from Eastern Europe and Russia has helped lift EU pig prices by almost 3% over the past week, reports FWi. The EU Mainland Average Pig Price now stands at almost 92p/kg narrowing the gap with UK quotes.
     Signs of an EU price revival nudged the GB Euro Deadweight Adjusted Pig Price up to 101.31p for the week ending 28 January. The GB spot market is also reflecting a slightly firmer overall trend.

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In the UK, with rising energy costs, indoor pig units are facing a surge in heating bills for farrowing and flat deck accommodation. During cold weather feed consumption goes up as pig energy levels increase and growth rates decline.
     Respiratory, viral and secondary infections also tend to rise when pigs are challenged by extremely cold weather leading to higher mortality and medication bills. Outdoor production which now accounts for over 30% of the UK sow breeding herd also faces challenges during cold weather, highlights FWi.

Scientists have criticised a report on crop spraying and its risks to health. Last year, a report by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) recommended five-metre no-spray zones between fields and homes, but the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) says this measure is "arbitrary" and a "disproportionate" response to scientific uncertainty.
     The ACP is an independent scientific committee and advises government on the control of pests. Its formal response was requested by Lord Bach, minister for sustainable farming and food, and will be used to inform Defra's response to the RCEP's report.
     The ACP Chairman told the BBC "We agree that there is scientific uncertainty, but we think a buffer zone is arbitrary and a disproportionate response to the uncertainty."

In Ireland, the Minister for the Environment is being asked by the IFA to defer the introduction of the Nitrates regulations until a proper scientific evaluation takes place. IFA President Padraig Walshe stressed that no responsible Government would proceed with the introduction of such “damaging” legislation based on “inadequate and flawed science”.
     He warned that the damage to agriculture would be irreversible, affecting the livelihoods and viability of thousands of farmers.

In this weeks China Hog Market Weekly, eFeedLink report that live hog prices extend losses during the week ended Jan 30 as demand continue to decline.
     In the run up to the Spring Festival celebration, which began from the weekend, hog raisers had released more stocks into the market. As peak demand from meat processing plants was already over, the market became saturated. Pork demand in cities also fell as workers returned to their countryside home for the festive season.

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DuPont Animal Health Solutions - bringing new life to biosecurity.

In the US, three East Central Indiana industrial-style swine and poultry producers are among the first in the nation to complete federal consent agreements designed to reduce air pollution in coming years quotes The Star Press.
     Supporters call the deals a giant step toward the future regulation of dust, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds and other air pollutants from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
See Also: U.S. defers pollution fines for big livestock, poultry farms

In their weekly review of the US hog industry, Glenn Grimes and Ron Plain report that the last four weeks slaughter has been about 3% above a year earlier based on preliminary data. On top of the 3% increase in number slaughtered, weights have averaged about 1.5% heavier than 12 months earlier.
     The pair have been extremely concerned about the demand for live hogs so far this year. However, when you consider pork production is up around 4.5% in the past four weeks you can explain most of the weakness in hog prices to supply, they say.
     We still believe we have lost some demand because of the reduction in high protein diets and the increase in competition from chickens.

Officials estimate a weekend fire at a pig farm near St. James, Minnesota caused more than $1 million in damage. The early-morning fire killed about 8,000 nursery pigs and destroyed four hog barns on Friday.
     Charles Peters, president of Minnesota based Wakefield Pork which owns the livestock, called the losses devastating. Peters says the pigs were insured, but it could take weeks or months to replace them. The Company is trying to determine the cause of the blaze.

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In Canada, an Alberta pig farmer was fined and his herd culled after it was discovered he was feeding the animals cattle remains. Rene Lieberon was charged under the Livestock Diseases Act, which prohibits food-producing livestock from being fed other such animals. He was fined $2,000.
     Lieberon, who runs a farm north of Calgary, said he was unaware that he was breaking any law, criticizing the regulations for being obscure and unknown.

In the wake of new research which casts doubt on many of the health claims associated with soy products, an Ottawa based nutrition consultant is advising consumers to avoid a wholesale switch away from animal based food products.
     For a long time various claims have been made about the health benefits of soy based products but the latest research has determined there is no evidence to suggest soy will reduce the risk of heart disease, the symptoms of menopause, the risk of osteoporosis or the risk of Cancer, reports Farmscape.

In Brazil, the near term outlook for poultry, pork and beef is bullish due to strong export demand. The forecast growth in exports is partly due to more value-added products and specialty meats, as well as various beef and pork export markets available, Credit Suisse analysts said.
     Brazil's commerce ministry Wednesday reported that 34,100 tonnes of pork were exported in January, compared with 39,400 tonnes and 34,600 tonnes in December and January 2005 respectively.

V-Drinker - No More Height Adjustments
ARATO V-Drinker - No More Height Adjustments

*This Week's Feature Articles

We have 4 new features this week:

Taiwan Livestock and Products Annual - February 2006
By USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service - This article provides the pork industry data from the USDA FAS Livestock and Products Annual 2006 report for Taiwan. A link to the full report is also provided. The full report includes all the tabular data which we have omitted from this article.
UK/EU Pig Populations - January 2006
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.

The Road to Recovery 2006-2009
By the British Pig Executive - The Road to Recovery 2006-2009 is a revised and updated strategy for prosperity in the England and Wales pig production and processing industry. It builds on the successes of the original strategy launched in 2002 and focuses more clearly on those areas where BPEX can use pig levy money to the greatest effect.

Evaluating the Impact Under Commercial Conditions of Increasing Dietary Energy
By Denise Beaulieu, PhD and John Patience, PhD and published by the Prairie Swine Center - The primary objective of pork production is to produce lean meat in a cost effective and sustainable manner. From a nutritional perspective, energy is perhaps the most critical nutrient, because it is the most expensive to provide in the diet. Other nutrients are less expensive to provide, and can always be provided in amounts that meet or exceed the pig’s requirement for growth.

Aurofac / Aureomycin - Justified, Reliable
Aurofac / Aureomycin - Justified, Reliable

That's all for this week!

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