- news, features, articles and disease information for the swine industry

ThePigSite Newsletter - 10 April 2012

Welcome to this week's newsletter

Editorial – Farewell to the Enviropig?

Since the 1990s, in an effort to reduce concerns about harm to the environment, Canada's University of Guelph has developed pigs that excrete lower levels of phosphorus. Excessive amounts of the nutrient cause algae blooms in water courses, threatening aquatic life.

At its latest general meeting, Ontario Pork decided to end Enviropig research funding after more than a decade.

Guelph University is continuing to seek a commercial partner for the project.

The announcement has been welcomed by organisations that oppose genetic modification.

US pork producers are holding back on expansion, even though the industry returned to profitability in the spring of 2011. However, higher feed prices in the past few months as a result of crop damage in South America has increased costs and reduced the profit outlook for 2012, according to Chris Hurt, Extension Economist at Purdue University.

Producers have not expanded in response to the profits they experienced over the past year for a number of reasons, including large financial losses in 2008 and 2009 and uncertainty over feed prices.

Dr Hurt added that the US pork industry’s costs structure has changed significantly from around $40 during the $2.00 a bushel corn era to closer to $60 per live hundredweight now.

A US-based agricultural economist is advising North American pork producers to keep a close watch on production costs.

Professor Ron Plain of the University of Missouri says one of the amazing things is just how volatile cost of production has become. He said that a decade ago, corn (maize) prices in the US were around two dollars per bushel, while it has been above six dollars now.

He said: “There's a lot more feed price risk than we used to have in the hog business so producers on both sides of the border need to pay a lot of attention to that.”

Also in the US, researchers have found evidence of banned antibiotics in feather meal, which is used in pig feed.

In a joint study, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Arizona State University found evidence suggesting that a class of antibiotics previously banned by the US government for poultry production is still in use.

The study, conducted by the Bloomberg School‘s Center for a Livable Future and Arizona State’s Biodesign Institute, looked for drugs and other residues in feather meal, a common ingredient in chicken, swine, cattle and fish feed. The most important drugs found in the study were fluoroquinolones – broad-spectrum antibiotics used to treat serious bacterial infections in people, particularly those infections that have become resistant to older antibiotic classes. The banned drugs were found in eight of 12 samples of feather meal in a multi-state study. The findings were a surprise to scientists because fluoroquinolone use in US poultry production was banned by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2005.

This is the first time investigators have examined feather meal, a byproduct of poultry production made from poultry feathers, to determine what drugs poultry may have received prior to their slaughter and sale.

“The discovery of certain antibiotics in feather meal strongly suggests the continued use of these drugs, despite the ban put in place in 2005 by the FDA,” said Dr David Love, lead author of the report. “The public health community has long been frustrated with the unwillingness of FDA to effectively address what antibiotics are fed to food animals.”

The US Poultry & Egg Association has released a statement to the report, which said: ‘The US commercial poultry industry does not use fluoroquinolones and has not since they were banned in 2005 by the FDA for poultry. In fact, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin and ofloxacin found in this study – albeit at extremely low levels – have never been used in the US poultry industry. The fact that they are evident in this study calls into question the source of the feather meal that was tested, potential cross-contamination with other products, and ultimately the scientific objectivity of the research since it implies continued use of fluoroquinolones that were never used by the poultry industry in the first place.”

And finally, turning to pig diseases, emergency measures have been introduced in the Tver region in the west of the Russian Federation to control the spread of African swine fever (ASF). Tver is a region famed for its hunting grounds.

Jackie Linden

Novartis Animal Health

* This Week's Feature Articles

We have 6 new features this week:

Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Pigs: Current Epidemiological Situation
A review of the aetiology, transmission, diagnosis, prevention and control of foot and mouth disease (FMD) were outlined by Emilio A. León at the Institute of Pathobiology at Castelar, Argentina, at the International Symposium on Emerging and Re-Emerging Diseases in Pigs in 2011.
Developing Strategies for Water Conservation for Producers
Animal drinking and cleaning are the top uses of water in pig barns, write Alvin Alvarado (MSc), Bernardo Predicala (PhD) and Y. Jin (PhD) of Prairie Swine Centre, who report reduced water usage when water is provided to pigs in a trough (compared to nipple drinkers) and using a conventional nozzle on pressure washers.
Factors Affecting Weight and/or Probe Variations at Slaughter
In his latest book, Modern Pig Production Technology, John Gadd has produced a 12–step checklist of factors that affect weight and probe variations at slaughter.
China’s Pork Industry: Looking Forward
China’s status as a major pork importer will likely continue to grow, forecast Fred Gale, Daniel Marti and Dinghuan Hu in the final part of their report entitled ‘China’s Volatile Pork Industry’ from the USDA Economic Research Service.
Sow Foot Lameness and Hoof Care
Advice aimed at smaller pig producers from pig veterinarian, Mark White, for the UK National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS).
Iron for Outdoor Piglets Can Boost Weaning Weights
Piglets receiving 200mg of elemental iron within 48 hours of birth were heavier at weaning and needed fewer days to finish while the return on investment was 10:1, according to the latest Target 2TS newsletter from BPEX.
Performance, Unleashed
* Market Reports

 » BPEX UK Pig Meat Market Update - April 2012
 » GB Animal Feed Statistical Notice
 » World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates April 2012
 » BPEX Export Bulletin – Week 14

* Company News

Consider Summer Infertility Now!
UK - While it may seem early to be discussing summer infertility, many breeding herds on pig farms have predictable dips in fertility associated with seasonal — or unseasonal! — weather, warns Paul Thompson, veterinary consultant to pig-breeding company, ACMC.
JSR Launches ‘Faster Finishing’ Boar
UK - Pig and Poultry Fair 2012 will see the launch of a keenly anticipated new Sireline, the ‘faster finishing’ JSR Geneconverter 800m Boar, by leading global pig breeders, JSR Genetics.
Pioneering IMF Technology Boosts Profit in Pork
UK – Pioneering new technology, unique in the UK, is being used by JSR Genetics to enhance the flavour of pork by reintroducing more marbled meat, without adding back fat.
Merial Acquires Newport Laboratories
FRANCE & US – Merial, the Animal Health division of Sanofi, has announced that it has acquired Newport Laboratories, a privately held company based in Worthington, Minnesota, and a leader in autogenous vaccines with a focus on swine and bovine production markets.
IVCC and Pfizer to Collaborate with CVMA
CHINA - The Chinese Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and the International Veterinary Collaboration for China (IVCC), a consortium of leading veterinary medical schools in the United States and United Kingdom and Pfizer Animal Health, announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding through which the CVMA will collaborate with the IVCC to advance veterinary medical education and animal health in mainland China.
Help from Southern Hemisphere for English Pigs
UK - Australian pig expert Dr Paul Hughes will reveal the latest knowledge on pig reproduction next month at two special BPEX Two-Tonne Sow events for English pig producers. ‘Reproduction: What’s New?’ will be held in Chippenham and Wetherby on the evenings of 9 and 10 May 2012.
New Director of Pfizer US Veterinary Medical Services
US - Pfizer Animal Health announced today that it has named Dr Christine Jenkins to the position of Group Director of US Veterinary Medical Services.
JSR, Roslin Institute and Kent University Win Key Research Funding
UK - JSR Genetics has won two prestigious Technology Strategy Board grants in conjunction with top UK academic partners.
* Global Pig Industry News

   United States

 » March Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report Analysis
 » Symposium on Digestive Physiology in Pigs in May
 » Winter Precipitation and Corn Yield
 » Factors Determining 2012 Pork Industry Profitability
 » CME: Estimated Corn Plantings of 95.864 M Acres
 » Weekly Roberts Market Report
 » CME: Hog Weights Near Record; No Sign of Decline
 » NAHMS Swine 2012 Study
 » Ham Prices High Heading into Easter
 » Outlook Encouraging for 2013 Hog Profits
 » Pork Profit Outlook Gets Trimmed
 » 2012 Veterinary Biologics Training Programme
 » Researchers Find Evidence of Banned Antibiotics
 » CME: Pork Packer Margins Down
 » Pork Commentary: March Hogs and Pigs Report - No Surprises
 » Pork Commentary: USDA March 1 Report was Bullish
Biomin - the natural way
   New Zealand

 » Calls for Stringent Border Controls Renewed
 » NZ Pork Launches ‘The Extraordinary Kitchen’


 » Pig Farmers Expect Mass Bankruptcy by October


 » Get Some Real 'Pork on Your Fork!'
 » Australian Food Production Increasing
 » Government Invests in Future of Farming

   United Kingdom

 » Scottish SPCA Accreditation for Meat Plants
 » Key to Reaping Benefits of Food Service Sector
 » Vegetable Protein Key for Future Protein Supplies
 » Massive Growth in Meat Exports
 » PRRS Breakdown Diagnosed in Breeding Unit
 » Third Welfare Science Conference Scheduled
 » Pigs Will Move from Contract to Spot


 » Drought Pushes Feed Prices up 12 Per Cent

   European Union

 » EU Pig Prices: Friendly Atmosphere in EU Markets
 » Inherent Risk in Introducing New Meat Inspection Rules
 » Organic Food Label Deadline Approaching
Pfizer Animal Health - Draxxin

 » University of Guelph Enviropig Project Loses Funding
 » CSHB Launches Swine Health Intelligence Network
 » Pork Council Restructures Board of Directors
 » Pork Producers Encouraged to be Proactive


 » Flexibility in Inclusion Levels of Organic Minerals

   Korea, South

 » Jump in Farm, Food Exports in First Quarter
 » Deadline Approaches for IPVS Congress Registration

   Russian Federation

 » Emergency Measures Set up against ASF


 » China Becomes Biggest Grocery Market


 » Producers Advised to Monitor Feed Costs Closely
 » UK Donates $25M to Improve Ag Statistics
 » Food Prices Remain Nearly Unchanged in March


 » Swine Fever Health Control Measures to be Lifted

   Hong Kong

 » H1N1 Detected in Hong Kong Slaughterhouse

   Viet Nam

 » Pork Tests Confirm Serious Steroid Problem


 » Adjumani Residents Defy Quarantine on Pigs
JSR Genetics - Genetics you can trust
That's all for this week!

Events / Promotions
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