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ThePigSite Newsletter - 16 July 2012

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Monday 16th July 2012.

Jackie Linden - ThePigSite Senior Editor

Jackie Linden
Senior Editor

Editorial - Pig Meat Trade Dispute Looms

The European Union, US and Brazil could be heading for another bitter war in the World Trade Organization over the use of ractopamine as a growth promoter for beef cattle and pigs.

Recently, Codex Alimentarius set maximum levels for the use of the drug at which the European Commission says the meat will be safe for human consumption.

In all about 27 countries around the world, including the US, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Japan and South Korea had declared that meat from animals raised using ractopamine is safe. However, about 100 other countries including the EU and China have banned its use.

The maximum residue levels (MRLs) that have been set by Codex will allow 10 parts per billion in both beef and pork. However, these levels were set and approved by a majority of just two – 69 votes to 67 – after five years of negotiation.

The decision has been welcomed in the US, Canada and Brazil.

However, the European Union has reaffirmed its position that an international standard for ractopamine is not justified. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which advises the European Union, has concluded that there is insufficient data on which to make a proposal for maximum residue levels for ractopamine and it has said that risks to human health cannot be ruled out. As a result, the EU's current legislation will remain in place.

WTO may become the battleground for the two sides to fight out this issue, with the sanctions and bitter retaliation the likely consequences.

Pig producers in the UK have been losing money for nearly two years and the losses are getting greater, according to a new report on feed prices from the British Pig Executive (BPEX). It shows that the high and rising feed costs mean that the total cost of producing pigs is currently much higher than the price, which the farmer is receiving.

At present, farmers are losing about £18 per pig, according to the report.

The report, Feed Price Rises Put Pressure on Pig Industry, says that the cost of pig production in the UK is nearly 173p per kg. Of this amount, feed makes up 60 per cent at 109p per kg. However, these figures do not take into account recent rises in feed costs or rises in feed costs that are expected to come. BPEX believes that the cost of production is going to remain at about 166p per kg until after the harvest.

Friday the 13th proved to be a particularly unlucky day for UK pig producers as feed ingredient costs scaled new heights and pig prices start to wobble, reports Peter Crichton.

Economics of pig production in the US look healthier: Iowa State University calculations put the break-even price for markets hogs sold in June at $65.12 per cwt, the highest since December. Fortunately for producers there, hog prices jumped and the average June profit was $22.40 per head sold.

According to the latest trade figures, US pork exports in May were up three per cent in volume from a year previously and nine per cent higher in value.

Turning to the global pig disease situation, Russia has reported a total of seven new outbreaks of African Swine Fever in the Tver region in the west of the country. Wild boar and domestic pigs were affected.

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More Slaughter Plants Needed for Locally Sourced Meat
Demand for locally sourced products in the US has increased in recent years, but producers often claim that a lack of slaughter facilities is a key reason that it is not expanding more quickly, writes ThePigSite editor-in-chief, Chris Harris.

Tail Biting
Highlights of a presentation by Dr Mark Whitney of the University of Minnesota and tips, summarised by Doug Richards, Swine Grower-Finisher Specialist at Ontario Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in that organisation's Pork News and Views newsletter.

Dietary Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratios Affect Body Fat Mobilisation During Lactation
When included correctly into sow diets, n-3 fatty acids may have positive impacts on body condition and longevity, report Laura Eastwood and Denise Beaulieu in the 2011 Annual Report from the Prairie Swine Centre.

Culling Practices in Japanese Commercial Swine Herds
Based on a survey of 115 breeding herds in Japan, researchers at Meiji University found that culling guidelines for mated sows differed between high–,intermediate– and low–performing herds, and that culling guidelines for mated gilts and sows were not strictly followed in commercial herds.

Dr Shelley Stanford Pfizer Director US Pork Technical Services
US - Pfizer Animal Health has named Shelley Stanford, DVM, MS, MBA, Director, US Pork Technical Services. As the chief scientific advisor for US Pork Operations, Stanford will lead a team of top technical professionals as a member of the Pork Leadership Team.
Hermitage Granted Patent on Mitochondrial DNA Technologies
EU - Hermitage Genetics have been granted a European Patent for their research technology project "Sequencing the mitochondrial DNA with reference to fertility as a means of optimisation of sow breeding lines".
Genesus Global Market Report - China Markets, July 2012
CHINA - Looking at the size of the breakdown of the inventory for May 2012-breeding stock was around 49.49 million and total on farm inventory was around 461.21 million (as compared to April 2012-breeding stock was around 49.54 million and total on farm inventory was around 463.06 million), writes Ron Lane, Senior Consultant for Genesus in China.
Training Farmers with Big Dutchman Pig Equipment
SOUTH AFRICA - A state-of-the art training facility for developing pig farmers was recently opened 80 km North of Durban just outside Pietermaritzburg.


A$400m Quarantine Facility for Victoria
Australian Pork Hits Back at Bacon Tax Claims


Unrest Over Canada's Inclusion in TPP Talks
Member Countries Unrest Over Canada's Inclusion in TPP
Ractopamine to Start New Battle in WTO?


Social Networks Contribute to PRRS Spread Among Swine
New Diagnostic Tools Helping Characterise New Strain of Brachyspira
Government Welcomes Ractopamine Ruling
Biosecurity Training Program Participation Reaches 97 Per Cent


Steps to Minimise Suffering in Culling Praised

   United Kingdom

Processor Closure Threat - a Body Blow
Strengthening Markets for Pork and Beef
Low-Protein Diets Reduce Nitrogen Emission
Pig Farmers Face an Empty Trough
Cranswick Drops Penny as Producers Prepare to Start Culling
Popularity of Pork Undimmed
Pig Sector Fighting Feed Costs

   United States

Pork Industry Faces Financial Disaster?
CME: Trade Continues to Debate Drought Situation
CME: Hog Futures Sharply Lower on Tuesday
Corn Silage Could Salvage Some Value for Drought-Damaged Crop
Weekly Roberts Market Report
Rules for US-Canadian Pork Production Need Harmonising
Reduced Amounts of Bedding During Transport of Pigs
Poor Growing Conditions Affect Grain Supply and Demand
Notices of Intent Served to Sue Pig Confinement Facilities
CME: May US Pork Exports Higher Than a Year Ago
Sodexo Reinforces Animal Welfare Commitment
AFBF Applauds House Ag Committee Farm Bill
May Pork Exports Continue Upward Trend
House Agriculture Committee Advances Farm Bill
CME: Changes to Forecasted Meat, Poultry Output Muted
Breakeven Price for Markets Hogs Sold in June
CME: More Sows Being Pushed to Market
EPA Withdraws Farm Database Rule
AFBF: Livestock Antibiotic Proposals Based on Theory
Pork Commentary: Drought

   European Union

EU Pig Prices: German Fall in Prices Leads to Split Price Trends
EU Stands Firm on Ractopamine after Codex Decision
Transitional Measures in Place Ahead of CAP Reform
Favourable Outlook for EU Exports in 2012
Importance of Young Farmers Highlighted

   Russian Federation

New Outbreak of ASF in Tver Region
Six ASF Outbreaks Reported in Russia
Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus Keep Customs Union


Government Discusses Measures to Support the Pig Sector
Brazil Welcomes Ractopamine Ruling
June Pork Exports Down Compared to a Month Ago
Government Considers Buying Pork to Raise Price


Atria Aims to Improve Animal Welfare and Product Safety


China's Farm Produce Prices Rebound


Tax on Imported Food Will Benefit Farmers


Protein Prices Putting Pig Production at Risk in Ireland


Meat Industry Gathers in Bogota

   New Zealand

NZPork is the World's Best Little Pig Industry

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