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ThePigSite Newsletter - 2 April 2012

Welcome to this week's newsletter

Editorial – More Pressure to Cut Antibiotic Use in Farm Animals

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has reaffirmed its support of the responsible use of antibiotics in food animals after a federal court ruling demanded that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) start proceedings to withdraw approval of certain uses of antibiotics used in food production.

Pressure to reduce antibiotic use was ramped up further in the UK with the publication last week of a report from the Soil Association entitled ‘E. coli Superbugs on Farms and Food’. Here too, the report brought a call for the preventative use of antibiotics in healthy animals to be phased out, and the overall use of antibiotics on farms halved within five years.

In response, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has urged caution over the findings of a Soil Association literature review, questioning the claim that there is ‘overwhelming evidence’ and in contrast, it points to the scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority.

In a statement, BVA said: “Few studies designed to assess risk factors for ESBL and/or AmpC occurrence in animals are available. The use of antimicrobials is a risk factor for selection and spread of resistant clones, resistance genes and plasmids.”

The opinion then goes on to state: “How widespread ESBL–carrying bacteria are in food-producing animals in the breeding, rearing and fattening sectors is generally unknown.”

The latest USDA Quarterly Pigs and Hogs Report was published late last week. The count of all hogs and pigs on 1 March was 64.9 million head, two per cent more than on the same date last year but down two per cent from December 2011.

Breeding inventory, at 5.82 million head, was up one per cent from last year and up slightly from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory, at 59.1 million head, was up two per cent from last year but down two per cent from last quarter.

The December 2011-February 2012 pig crop, at 28.7 million head, was up three per cent from 2011. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high of 9.97.

An independent commission of scientific leaders from 13 countries has released a detailed set of recommendations to policy–makers on how to achieve food security in the face of climate change. Recommendations include investment in sustainable agriculture and food systems; intensifying agriculture whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing losses and waste in the food system.

In their report entitled Achieving Food Security in the Face of Climate Change, the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change proposes specific policy responses to the global challenge of feeding a world confronted by climate change, population growth, poverty, food price spikes and degraded ecosystems. The report highlights specific opportunities under the mandates of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Group of 20 (G20) nations.

In recent years, pig meat processors in Germany focused mainly on increasing slaughter capacity but a new report on the Germany pig meat industry says that a phase of consolidation seems to have started.

The slaughter pig market is highly concentrated in Germany. The top 10 companies slaughter 75 per cent of the pigs in the country and the top four – Tönnnies, Vion, Westfleisch and Danish Crown – account for more than 60 per cent of the market, according to a report from ISN.

In the Midwest of the US, a series of explosions from manure pits on pig farms are stumping scientists. Since 2009, six farms have blown up after methane trapped in an unidentified, pit–topping foam caught a spark. In the afflicted region, the foam is found in roughly one in four hog farms. There seems to be nothing farmers can do except be very careful.

Turning to health issues, scientists have discovered that a pig's ability to withstand porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is closely tied to one genetic marker.

Please note that the Easter holidays are coming up and so next week’s newsletter from ThePigSite will be sent out a day later than usual on Tuesday 10 April.

Jackie Linden

Circovac - Nothing protects earlier

* This Week's Feature Articles

We have 10 new features this week:

Environmental and Food Safety Pressures on China’s Pig Industry
Producing large quantities of pork in China entails additional costs related to the environment and food safety that are not factored into the market price of pork, explain Fred Gale, Daniel Marti and Dinghuan Hu in a report entitled ‘China’s Volatile Pork Industry’ from the USDA Economic Research Service.
African Swine Fever Update
J.M. Sáchez-Vizcaíno and colleagues at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain highlighted the high risks of African swine fever to the pig populations of Africa, the Caucasus and the EU at the International Symposium on Emerging and Re-Emerging Diseases in Pigs in 2011.
Can Omega–3 Fatty Acids Modulate the Immune Response of Pigs?
Pork producers should include plant–based omega–3 fatty acids, such as those found in flaxseed, into the diets of lactating sows or newly weaned piglets but ensure that the ratio does not go below 5:1 omega–6:omega–3, according to L. Eastwood and A.D. Beaulieu from the Prairie Swine Centre.
Gastrointestinal Health and Function in Weaned Pigs
A review of feeding strategies to control post–weaning diarrhoea in pigs without using in–feed antimicrobial compounds by researchers based in Canada and Australia.
Osteochondrosis in Pigs Related to Body Weight
Pigs that were diagnosed with minor or severe osteochondrosis (OC) had higher body weights than those that did not have OC although the precise relationship between body weight and OC varied among the joints that were studied, according to new research from the Wageningen University Research in the Netherlands.
Control of Biting Insects on Pigs
Advice on the control of flies, mosquitoes and ticks from Jayce Morgan, Livestock Officer Pigs for New South Wales Department of Primary Industries in Australia.
Mycotoxins and Other Interactants: What are the Consequences on Pig Farms
Clinical symptoms may be observed in animals even when a low mycotoxin contamination was detected in the feed, according to Karin Nährer of Biomin.
Gut Function is Key to Weaned Pig Performance
Management tips on how to manipulate the pig’s digestive system to improve performance post–weaning and reduce susceptibility to disease from BPEX in its Target 2TS newsletter.
Occurrence and Characteristics of ESBL–Producing Enterobacteriaceae in Animals, Minced Meat and Raw Milk
Researchers based in Switzerland found relatively high rates of extended–spectrum beta–lactamase (ESBL) producers in pigs, cattle, sheep and chickens and they expressed concern about the high genetic diversity among these isolates, which they said indicates an established reservoir in farm animals.
Better Molecular Insights in the Pathogenesis of PRRSV Infections and Immune Response Show the Way for More Efficient PRRSV Vaccines
The numerous recent breakthroughs in the pathogenesis of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infections and the immune response/modulation have brought light at the end of the tunnel for vaccine developers, according to H.J. Nauwynck and co-authors at Ghent University in Belgium, speaking at the International Symposium on Emerging and Re-Emerging Diseases in Pigs in 2011.
MSD Animal Health - It's a New Day for Animal Health
* Market Reports

 » USDA GAIN: Mexico Livestock & Products Semi-annual
 » Irish CSO Livestock Slaughterings February 2012
 » USDA Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report - March 2012
 » BPEX Export Bulletin – Week 13
 » AHDB UK Market Survey - 30 March 2012
 » AHDB European Market Survey - 30 March 2012

* Company News

Genesus Dominates National, Global Results
CANADA - The official results for all Canada 2011 purebred swine registrations were announced at Canada Swine Breeders Annual Meeting Toronto, 26 March 2012.
Meriden Exhibits at Ildex Viet Nam
VIET NAM - Meriden Animal Health Limited exhibited at Ildex Viet Nam last week, welcoming the opportunity to greet old and new customers alike.
Gilt Edged Return
UK - Buying Government gilts in most countries is a safe and sound investment but without spectacular returns however the challenges in the Eurozone now mean that even these are not without risk, writes Tim Rymer, Chairman of JSR.
Genesus Global Market Report - Canada
CANADA - As I write this the morning of 22 March (two days into official spring) it’s 11 degrees Celsius (52 degrees Fahrenheit) on its way to 25 degrees (78 degrees Fahrenheit). Yesterday at the second day of the Ontario Pork Producers Marketing Board Annual General Meeting it was even warmer, smashing temperature records, writes Bob Fraser, Sales and Service, Genesus Ontario.
Anpario Acquires Meriden Animal Health Limited
UK - Anpario plc, one of the leading suppliers of natural high performance feed additives to enhance health, growth and sustainability in global agriculture and aquaculture markets, has acquired Meriden Animal Health Limited.
* Global Pig Industry News

   United Kingdom

 » New NPA Chairman
 » McDonalds Steps Up Support for Farmers
 » New Team to Lead NFU Livestock Board
 » Partial Stalls Ban Report Will Grab Retailers' Attention
 » Minister Outlines Export Opportunities
 » E.Coli Warning from Excessive Antibiotic Use
 » Vets Urge Caution over Claims in ‘Superbugs’ Report
 » Pork is Tops When Eating Out
 » NI Ag Minister Walks Pork Supply Chain
 » Shouts Play Catch up, Spot Stands on
 » Leading Family Feed Businesses Merge
The first and only vaccine for the control of Porcine Proliferative Enteropathy.
   European Union

 » EU Pig Prices: Consumer Demand Forces Up Prices
 » New Pig Welfare Standards Must be Enforced
 » ForFarmers Group to Acquire BOCM PAULS
 » EU Agricultural Policy Reform Delay

   United States

 » March USDA Reports and Beyond
 » Checkoff-funded PRRS Research Compiled
 » CME: Grain Markets Await Plantings & Stocks Report
 » Country of Origin Labelling - How Far is Too Far?
 » Weekly Roberts Market Report
 » Mysterious Pig Farm Explosions Stump Scientists
 » Changing Dynamics of Food Animal Production
 » CME: Has the Pork Cutout Finally Bottomed Out?
 » Pork Industry Moves to Group Pens at High Cost
 » CME: Hog Inventories Expected to be Higher
 » Study Follows Salmonella Path from Animal to Human
 » Opportunity to Identify Areas for Improvement
 » Pig Behaviour: Cameras Catch What Humans Miss
 » AVMA Responds to Court Ruling on Antibiotic Use
 » Corn Acreage Big News in USDA Planting Report
 » New Nutrition Labels Make Decisions Easier
 » Drop in March Hog-Corn Ratio
 » WPEX Tours to Showcase Midwest Agriculture
 » CME: Hog & Pigs Inventory up 1.9 Per Cent
 » Pork Commentary: Lean Hog Future Prices Languish

   Global

 » Canada & Japan Launch Economic Agreement
 » Danish Pork Exports Up in 2011; Dutch Exports Down
 » Epigenetics: The Next Frontier in Livestock Genetics
 » Global Investment in Sustainable Agriculture Needed
Performance, Unleashed
   China

 » Police Raids Uncover Pork from Sick, Dead Pigs
 » Soybean Imports to Maintain an Uptrend
 » Pork Imports to Increase on Strong Demand

   Viet Nam

 » Use of Banned Chemical in Pig Rearing Confirmed

   Canada

 » US Appeal to WTO on COOL Disappoints Pork Industry
 » Efforts to Expand Economic Ties with Japan
 » Scientist Discusses PRRS Breakthrough & Next Steps
 » Cost-Effective Feed Critical to Livestock Production
 » Canada & Manitoba Partner to Protect Animal Health
 » Emphasis on Marbling Improves Desirability of Pork
 » Chance to Improve Profitability of Pork Production
 » Canadian Pork Industry Supports Trade Expansion

   Ireland

 » Ireland Presses for Decision on Ag Policy Reform

   Taiwan

 » Taiwanese Pig Farmers Anxious About Bankruptcy

   Australia

 » APL Congratulates Award Winning Young Scientist

   Korea, South

 » Farmers Protest Measure to Import Tariff-free Pork

   Germany

 » German Pig Slaughterers on Consolidation Course

   Thailand

 » Betagro in Northeastern Expansion Drive

   Brazil

 » Brazilian Pork Expanding into New Markets
SowComfort - Never before has standing been so easy!
That's all for this week!

Ed.
Events / Promotions
The Drost Project - A Visual Guide to Porcine, Pig Reproduction.
Biomin - Mycotoxins
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