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ThePigSite Newsletter - 20 February 2012

ThePigSite Weekly Newsletter
Monday 20th February 2012
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Welcome to this week's newsletter

Editorial – Is Everyone Talking about a Ban on Sow Stalls?

Last week, fast food chain, McDonald’s, told its US pig meat suppliers to phase out gestation stalls and adopt more welfare–friendly methods of production.

Gestation stalls were removed from pig production systems in the UK more than a decade ago and at the end of this year, European legislation will see them phased out across the EU.

The move in Europe has caused some concern among pig producers, many of whom, despite having had a decade to prepare for the new regulations, are ill-prepared.

The move by McDonalds in the US has produced some positive responses from the industry and animal welfare groups and activists, including the Humane Society of the US and the American Humane Association. However, the response from the US pig producers has been less enthusiastic.

A statement from the National Pork Board said that the move had been for commercial interests and that there are several systems including the use of gestation stall that have welfare–friendly aspects.

The move in the US following the developments and experiences in Europe also beg the question what will happen in other countries around the world.

Welfare issues are already high one the agenda in Australia and New Zealand. In New Zealand, sow stalls will be banned by the end of 2015 despite the NZ$20–million cost to pig farmers to change their housing and in Australia, in November 2010, Australian Pork Ltd delegates voted overwhelmingly to pursue the voluntary phase-out of gestation stalls by 2017.

There is, at present, no similar pressure to change systems in the world's largest pig producing country, China. McDonald’s has a significant presence in China and other Asian countries. Will the company insist on similar changes to production methods in these countries in the future?

The Chair of the National Farm Animal Care Council's Pig Code Development Committee says space allowance and the use of gestation stalls in Canada are among the key issues being discussed as revisions to the Pig Code of Practice are considered,

A new report from the USDA Economic Research Service has described the volatility of China’s pig meat industry. The report says that growth of the country's domestic pig meat industry is being held back by rising costs, disease outbreaks, animal waste disposal challenges and food safety concerns as well as more competitively priced imports.

The latest EU pig census figures from December 2011 highlight some modest gains in pig populations and some dramatic reductions. Almost half of EU countries have reported their pig counts, which reveal modest increases from the previous year in Germany, Denmark and Italy but double-digit percentage falls in Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovenia and Malta.

A special report in the February USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook produced by the USDA Economic Research Service maintains that the efficiency of pork production in the US over the years has been clouded by the amount of meat and livestock that have been imported. This is despite the record pork exports achieved by the US last year.

The report acknowledges that technical efficiencies and genetic improvement have helped to increase the amount of meat that is produced from each pig but it also says that the improvements are not as great as they first might appear because the US has been increasing more product and animals from countries such as Canada and Mexico.

Jackie Linden

* This Week's Feature Articles

We have 11 new features this week:

Clear Slap Marking – a Step to Accurate Traceability
If a meat production and processing operation is to institute a traceability system, it needs to be accurate, efficient and comprehensive, writes ThePigSite editor in chief, Chris Harris.
Antimicrobial Resistance – Veterinary and Public Health Concerns in Europe
Radical reforms of antimicrobial use in livestock are being contemplated for political reasons, according to David Burch of Octagon Services Ltd.
Livestock Strategies Rise as Intervention for Gates Foundation
Livestock farming is shifting to the fast track as a key intervention in the global battle against hunger and poverty, said Dr Gregg BeVier of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in his presentation to the 2012 Banff Pork Seminar.
Use of ELISAs for Monitoring Exposure of Pig Herds to Brachyspira hyodysenteriae
Based on the three independent studies, researchers in Australia found IgG ELISAs using either WC or Bhlp29.7 as plate-coating antigens to be useful for monitoring the dynamics of B. hyodysenteriae infection in grower pigs, with certain advantages favouring the WC preparation. Meat juice samples collected from pigs on infected farms contained specific antibodies to B. hyodysenteriae and so they suggested that analysis of this material could be incorporated into routine health surveillance.
Stimulating Gradual and Natural Immunity in the Breeding Herd
John Gadd, in his book, Modern Pig Production Technology, discusses the best way to stimulate gradual and natural immunity in the breeding herd.
Water Quality Issues and Pork Production
A summary of the practical characteristics of water quality that producers should check on pig farms from Greg Simpson, swine nutritionist in the Pork News and Views newsletter from the Ontario Ministry of Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to help producers with their future purchasing.
Age-Dependent Susceptibility to Porcine Circovirus Type 2 Infections is Likely Associated with Declining Levels of Maternal Antibodies
Porcine circovirus associated disease (PCVAD) was most commonly observed in 12- to 16-week-old pigs, based on submissions to a diagnostic lab in the Midwest between 2003 and 2010, according to researchers at Iowa State University. Under experimental conditions, they found that 12-week-old pigs had significantly lower PCV2 antibody levels than younger pigs at the time of inoculation and significantly higher PCV2 viraemia levels after PCV2 inoculation. The effect of passively acquired antibodies protecting against PCV2 challenge was less evident in older pigs.
A PRRS CAP Update on the Regional Control and Elimination of PRRSV
The control and elimination of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) were reviewed by R.R.R. Rowland, PRRS CAP Project Director at Kansas State University, during the Kansas Swine Day 2011.
Evaluation of Methods of Rapid Mass Killing of Segregated Early Weaned Piglets
Based on animal welfare parameters, controlled blunt force trauma was the most satisfactory method of euthanasia in pigs of this age under field conditions, according to research from Manitoba, Canada.
China’s Rising Pork Imports Linked to Domestic Market Fluctuations
Prices, hog inventories and pork output in China fluctuate from year to year in response to various factors, according to Fred Gale, Daniel Marti and Dinghuan Hu in a report entitled China's Volatile Pork Markets from USDA's Economic Research Service.
Denagard Performance – Ileitis in vitro studies
In vitro studies show that L. intracellularis, the cause of ileitis, is sensitive to Denagard.
The first and only vaccine for the control of Porcine Proliferative Enteropathy.
* Market Reports

 » USDA Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook - February 2012
 » AHDB UK Market Survey - February 2012

* Company News

New Structure for TOPIGS Departments
NETHERLANDS - TOPIGS has given its research, support and development department a new structure.
Genesus and Best Genetics Sign Agreement
CANADA & CHINA - Best Genetics, a Chinese swine genetic company and Genesus, one of the top swine breeding companies in the world, signed a cooperation agreement on 9 February 2012 at the 5th Canada-China Business Forum.
Expanding Veterinary Customer Relationships
US - Pfizer Animal Health announces the appointment of Steve Sornsen, DVM, MS, to senior director, Veterinary Business Solutions.
Bayer to Acquire Animal Health Business
US - Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division announced yesterday they have signed an agreement to acquire the Animal Health business of KMG Chemicals, Inc.
* Global Pig Industry News

   United Kingdom

 » ENERGY NOW - Help for Farmers to Develop AD
 » ENERGY NOW - NFU Offers Energy Advice Service
 » VION to Announce Changes to Management Structure
 » Pig Development Could Breach Human Rights
 » Farmer Responds to Welfare Abuse Allegations
 » Pig Meat Imports Expected to Remain Tight
 » Launch of Next Phase of Pig Monitor Farm Project
 » One Small Step (But in the Right Direction)
 » Pig and Poultry Assurance Scheme to be Evaluated
 » Farmer Dies Following Allegations of Cruelty

MSD Animal Health - It's a New Day for Animal Health

 » Major Mission Heads to South Africa
 » Russian Govt Approves New Meat Import Quotas
 » China Pork Imports Rise; Irish Beef Production Drops
 » Will McDonald's Phase Out of Stalls Have a Global Impact?
 » China and US Firms Sign Biofuel Deal
 » EU and US Agree Partnership on Organic Trade
 » Livestock Science to Benefit Sub-Sahara Africa

   United States

 » Pork Commentary: Ohio and China
 » New Pork Export Records Set in 2011
 » Soybean Export & Acreage Prospects Support Prices
 » NPB: McDonald's Decision Based on Business Interest
 » 2013 Budget Will Cut Ag Programmes
 » CME: Ag Projections Show Growth in Meat Production
 » Robert Easter and Bill Fisher Recognised by IPPA
 » Discovery Paves Way for Salmonella Vaccine
 » NPPC Ready to Assist McDonald’s with Sow Housing
 » CME: McDonald’s Causes Stir over Sow Stall Plans
 » Expose Reveals Cruelty at Pig Breeding Farm
 » 2011 a Fantastic Year for Meat Exports
 » Positives Seen in Chinese Leaders’ Visit to Iowa
 » 2011 Pork Imports & Exports Take Opposite Turns
 » Have Imports Clouded US Meat Production Efficiencies?
 » CME: Pork & Beef Demand up, Chicken Down in 2011
 » Companies Quizzed over Antibiotics in Meat
 » CME: 2012 Profit May be One of the Best on Record
 » Self-Assessment Air Quality Awareness Tool


 » China Hog Markets
VC, PE Firms Show Appetite for Food Industry
 » The Volatility of China’s Pork Industry
 » Chinese Pig Meat Imports up Sharply

   European Union

 » EU Pig Prices: Slaughter Companies & Strike Prices
 » UK & Italian Unions Join Forces on CAP
 » Dramatic Falls & Small Gains in EU Pig Populations
 » Copa-Cogeca - Cap Must Ensure Food Security


 » Danes Cut Pre-Weaning Mortality through Breeding
 » Pigs with Built-in Defence against Diarrhoea

Circovac - Nothing protects earlier

 » Farmers Look to Embrace Clean Energy Future
 » Outshine the Swine Begins in NSW
 » Food Report Fails to Acknowledge Role of Farmers


 » Switching from Stall to Group Sow Housing
 » Boosting Immunisation Rate for Seasonal Flu
 » Tools Under Development for Detecting Lameness
 » Key to Moving from Conventional to Group Housing
 » Discussions Aimed at Revising Pig Code of Practice
 » CPC Supports Canada Entering TPP Negotiations

BigFarmNet - The Best Invention Since Pig Equipment

 » Bulgarian Ag Minister Vows to Improve Welfare


 » PRRS Outbreak Reported in Peruvian Capital

   Hong Kong

 » No Alarm After Positive Flu Check on Pig

   Russian Federation

 » Boars Test Positive for ASF in Volgograd Region
 » AgroFarm Welcomes More Visitors and Exhibitors


 » Centers Approved to Export Bovine & Swine Semen


 » HKScan Grows Stronger in Last Quarter


 » CSHB Swine Worker Immunization Pilot Project

That's all for this week!

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