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ThePigSite Newsletter - 23 January 2012

Welcome to this week's newsletter

Editorial – Mixed Reactions to New EU Animal Welfare Plan

Last week, the European Commission has adopted a new four-year strategy that aims to improve further animal welfare in the European Union, a move that has elicited mixed reactions.

EU Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner, John Dalli, said: "The recent coming into force of the legislation on laying hen welfare has shown that problems persist in animal welfare in several Member States. Some efforts are being made, but many issues need to be tackled in a different way in order to achieve more sustainable results. The new strategy will permit appropriate flexibility allowing operators to attain the necessary welfare standards by different routes.

"Optimising policy coherence and market transparency in a comprehensive animal welfare legislative framework will minimise real or perceived tensions between welfare and economics. Animal welfare measures need to be cost-effective. The proposed dedication of resources to education and training is expected to be highly cost-effective, economically and in welfare terms."

To address issues and concerns around animal welfare, the Strategy provides for a two-pronged approach: a proposal for a comprehensive animal welfare law and a reinforcement of current actions. The legislation to be proposed is expected to promote an innovative approach focusing on actual welfare outcomes instead of mechanistic inputs, and to increase the focus on the education and professional standards of all parties concerned.

The second element proposes a reinforcement and the optimisation of current Commission actions: enhancing tools to strengthen Member State compliance with the legal requirements; boosting the already existing international co-operation on animal welfare issues; providing consumers with better information, and performing studies where animal welfare appears to encounter the most problems.

Generally speaking, welfare campaigning groups have welcomed the strategy but say that it has not gone far enough. Industry bodies are concerned about the costs that will be incurred and who will pay for them. While welcoming the promise of a reduction in red tape, they have expressed worries about the details still to be agreed, particularly over the selection of science-based welfare indicators.

As for consumers, the latest research from IGD shows that almost half UK shoppers say they are willing to pay extra for free-range and other products produced to high animal welfare standards.

Retail pork products in the United States have a higher prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA) than previously identified, according to new research by the University of Iowa College of Public Health and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

The study, in the science journal PLoS ONE, represents the largest sampling of raw meat products for MRSA contamination to date in the US.

The researchers collected 395 raw pork samples from 36 stores in Iowa, Minnesota, and New Jersey. Of these samples, 26, or about seven per cent, carried MRSA.

"This study shows that the meat we buy in our grocery stores has a higher prevalence of staph than we originally thought," says lead study author Dr Tara Smith, interim director of the UI Center for Emerging and Infectious Diseases and assistant professor of epidemiology.

"With this knowledge, we can start to recommend safer ways to handle raw meat products to make it safer for the consumer."

The study also found no significant difference in MRSA contamination between conventional pork products and those raised without antibiotics or antibiotic growth promotants.

Finally, a new case of African Swine Fever has been found in a dead boar in the Tver region of Russia.

Jackie Linden

Performance, Unleashed

* This Week's Feature Articles

We have 8 new features this week:

Reducing Boar Taint through Breeding: Pork Quality
The final scientific report from the EU group, Sustainable Animal Breeding (SABRE), subtitled 'Cutting Edge Genomics for Sustainable Animal Breeding', explains how the latest genomics tools are being used to reduce the problem of boar taint by breeding.
Clinical Presentation, Case Definition and Diagnostic Guidelines for Porcine Periweaning Failure to Thrive Syndrome
Although the aetiology and pathogenesis remain elusive, veterinary researchers in Canada and the US have shed some light on porcine periweaning failure to thrive syndrome (PFTS) in a new review paper.
BPEX Pig Health Scheme: a Useful Monitoring System for Respiratory Disease Control on Pig Farms?
Lesion scores reported by the BPEX Pig Health Scheme (BPHS) may reflect the presence of respiratory pathogens and these lesions may be indicative of reduced productivity, according to researchers at the UK's Royal Veterinary College in an initial assessment of the scheme.
Yersinia enterocolitica: a Brief Review of the Issues
Information on the reservoirs, prevalence, virulence and the ability of this foodborne pathogen to survive in different environments needs to be investigated to provide rational measures to prevent or decrease associated disease risks, according to researchers in Ireland.
Feeding a Healthy versus a Challenged Pig
Health is the one overriding factor affecting performance, according to BPEX in its latest Knowledge Transfer Bulletin, number 18.
Antibiotic Use in Food Animals
Broad concern and confusion about antibiotic use on farms have been expressed by the general public and policy-makers, according to a white paper published from the 2011 US National Institute for Animal Agriculture Symposium Proceedings on Antibiotic Use in Food Animals: A Dialogue for a Common Purpose.
Research into the Use of Vegetable By-products for Animal Feed
AZTI-Tecnalia has successfully completed the second of three phases of research to characterise by-products as set out in the Clean Feed project in Spain.
Denagard Performance - Ileitis/Efficacy
Studies show Denagard® is highly effective against ileitis in pigs, according to Novartis Animal Health.
The first and only vaccine for the control of Porcine Proliferative Enteropathy.
* Company News

World Nutrition Forum 2012
SINGAPORE - Top international animal-health specialists and feed-industry experts will meet at the World Nutrition Forum 2012 to exchange knowledge on key trends in animal production and debate the major scientific, environment and leadership issues confronting the sector.
Viet Nam Hog Markets
VIET NAM - Throughout 2011, the large price increase in pork has been quite pronounced amongst the livestock product groups. From early 2011 until now, all prices for livestock products increased continuously, write Ron Lane, Senior Consultant of Genesus Viet Nam and Meggie Vo, Research Assistant.
Pfizer Ends Residue Violation Worries
US - Pork producers now have a worry-free solution to help them continue their track record of producing safe, wholesome pork. The Pfizer Pork Residue Free Guarantee is an innovative solution that ensures pork will not have violative meat residues.
Hermitage Builds New AI Station in Italy
ITALY - In 2005, Hermitage Italia srl launched their high health boar stud ‘Centro Verri Italia’ which services the genetic requirements of the dynamic Italian pig industry.
Hermitage Talks about Alternatives to Castration
IRELAND - The issue of piglet castration has become a major animal welfare concern in many European countries. Some supermarket chains have decided to only sell products from pigs that have not been physically castrated from 1 January 2011 onwards.
Pfizer Animal Health Promotes Scott Webster
US - Pfizer Animal Health announces the promotion of Scott Webster, MS, to director for the IMPROVEST® (gonadotropin releasing factor analog-diphtheria toxoid conjugate) team.
* Global Pig Industry News

   United Kingdom

 » Helping British Pig Exports Succeed
 » Shout Prices Slip Across the Board
 » UK Implementing Higher Animal Welfare Too Soon?
 » Eat Yourself Happy, Urges Vion
 » Meat Industry Hits Back over Cancer and Meat Claims
 » 2TS Pig Finisher Challenge for 2012
 » Pork Turning Up the Volume
 » eAML2 Demo Will be Ready for April
SowComfort - Never before has standing been so easy!
   Germany

 » Dioxin Scandal Company Files for Bankruptcy

   United States

 » Record 2011 Farm Profits Could Spill into 2012
 » Registration for 2012 National Pork Industry Forum
 » Understanding the Surprise in Corn Stocks Estimate
 » Corn Stocks Report Throws Another Curve Ball
 » CME: Pork & Beef Value in November Hit Records
 » Antibiotics in Pig Feeds Increases Resistance
 » CME: Pork Production Forecast Higher in 2012
 » Ingredients that Lower Feed Cost for Weanling Pigs
 » Broadening Feedstocks Eligible for RFS
 » NFU Urges EPA to Use Existing Data for CAFOs
 » Researchers Explore Algae-Based Feed
 » US Hog Prices Record High in 2011
 » High MRSA Bacteria Levels in Retail Pork Products
 » Swine Herd Expansion Modest, Despite Profitability
 » Pork Commentary: Corn, Soybean, Weath Prices Drop

   General

 » How Strong are Links between Meat and Cancer?
 » GAP: New Compound Feed Manufacturing Standard
 » Drought and Floods Hitting Agricultural Production

   Sweden

 » Processed Meat May Increase Pancreatic Cancer Risk
MSD Animal Health - It's a New Day for Animal Health
   European Union

 » EU Pig Prices: Pig Prices Reach Bottom
 » EU Must Learn from Cage Ban, Say Pig Producers
 » Animal Protein Feed for Fish Only, Says FEFAC
 » Does the Animal Welfare Strategy Go Far Enough?

   Canada

 » Margin-Based Approach for Risk Management
 » Traceability Project Uses DNA to Improve Genetics
 » New Technology Key to Increasing Food Production
 » Pork Industry's Ability to Help Meet Food Demand
 » Canadian Pork Council Elects New Chair
 » Reduced Feed Costs Could Boost Profitability
 » Best Defences against Enteric Diseases
 » Recommendations to Prevent Swine Dysentery

   Tanzania

 » African Swine Fever Outbreaks in Tanzania

   China

 » Farm Produce Prices Rise for 8th Straight Week

   Austria

 » Pigs Found Starved to Death in Styria

   Korea, South

 » Minister Urges Greater Efforts to Boost Farm Exports

   India

 » ILRI Pig Production Project in Nagaland
 » Meat, Milk, Eggs, Fish Not on Deflation Diet

   Denmark

 » Report Predicts Decrease in Piglet Mortality

   Ireland

 » Ag to Consolidate Recent Growth through 2012
Circovac - Nothing protects earlier
   Lithuania

 » Last Restrictions on Pork Import from Lithuania

   Russian Federation

 » Boar Corpse Identified as ASF in Tver Region

   Spain

 » Pig Farming in Mallorca Declining

That's all for this week!

Ed.
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