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ThePigSite Newsletter - 17 March 2014

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Monday 17th March 2014.
Jackie Linden - ThePigSite Senior Editor

Jackie Linden
Senior Editor

UK Publishes Results of Study into Pig-Human Health Concerns

Last week, the results were presented of a study of a number of potential animal and human health concerns in slaughter pigs in the UK. An effort involving co-operation of many UK partners, researchers looked at the prevalence of a number of potential public and animal health risks in UK pigs at slaughter.

This study was initiated by Defra and co-funded with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, the Food Standards Agency, Public Health England and the British Pig Executive.

Research was co-ordinated and led by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA). Samples were collected by the Food Standards Agency and the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and laboratory examination was undertaken at several AHVLA Regional Laboratories, as well as Public Health England and Public Health Wales.

A total of 645 pig carcasses were randomly selected and sampled between January and May 2013 at 14 slaughterhouses that together process 80 per cent of all finishing pigs slaughtered in the UK.

The multi-agency multi-funded project provided important data on numerous potential public and animal health risks, including the first UK-wide prevalence estimates for Toxoplasma, Hepatitis E virus, Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus and Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) E. coli in slaughter pigs.

There was a consistently lower prevalence of bacteria found on carcasses than in the animal, giving evidence of the effectiveness of the dressing procedures in the abattoir to limit the contamination of pig carcasses and thereby control the risk of exposure of consumers to potentially harmful microorganisms.

For Salmonella, the prevalence was 31 per cent based on the caecal swabs and under 10 per cent for the carcass swabs, explained Tanya Cheney of AHVLA.

Toxoplasma is a protozoan that is widely prevalent in humans, pigs and other animal worldwide, she explained. Symptoms are usually mild. Seroprevalence was seven per cent.

Richard Tedder of Public Health England reported that prevalence of the hepatitis E virus was 93 per cent of the samples, with under six per cent showing current infections. The types of virus carried in pigs and people are quite separate, according to the virus "family tree".

Yersiniosis is a zoonotic gastrointestinal disease. Ms Cheney reported that it was found in 33 per cent of pig tonsil samples, and the prevalence in the carcass swab samples at under two per cent.

For PRRS virus, the seroprevalence was 58 per cent, with eight per cent having PRRSv RNA-positive tonsils. This method does not distinguish between pigs that have been vaccinated and those which have developed immunity as the result of infection. The virus does not infect humans.

Chris Teale of AHVLA reported the results of tests on antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter. Overall, 153 Campylobacter coli isolates were tested for their in vitro susceptibility to seven antimicrobials.

The greatest levels of resistance were observed against tetracyclines (78 per cent) and streptomycin (66 per cent). There was also a moderate level of resistance against erythromycin (27 per cent), nalidixic acid (17 per cent) and ciprofloxacin (12 per cent). No resistance was observed against either chloramphenicol or gentamicin, which are rarely used in pigs and never for mass administration.

For ESBL E. coli, Dr Teale reported an overall prevalence of 23 per cent.

Also in the news in the last week are reports of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) in Japan and Colombia as well in the US and Canada.

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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Australian Pig Meat: Outlook to 2018-19
Pig prices are forecast to fall in 2014–15, reflecting higher supply as imports rise, according to Clay Mifsud in the 'Agricultural Commodities' report from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) for the March Quarter 2014.

Effects of Corn Particle Size, Complete Diet Grinding and Diet Form on 24- to 50-lb Nursery Pig Growth Performance
Pig performance was improved when fed diets in pellet form and when the particle size of the maize (corn) was reduced from 737 to 324 microns, according to researchers at the 2013 Kansas State University Swine Industry Day.

Researchers Determine Feather Meal Is Good Source of Energy for Swine
In a collaborative study, researchers at the universities of Illinois and Alabama have examined the energy content and digestibility of amino acids and phosphorus in feather meals from four different sources.

In-Transit Losses of Pigs: Investigation of Hog Heart Health
Most of the pigs that died during transportation had a pre-existing cardiac abnormality, according to Kathy Zurbrigg of the University of Guelph and co-workers, and the heart lesions appear to have a genetic link. Their study was presented at the Centralia Swine Research Update 2014.

Mycotoxins in Pig Production
An overview of mycotoxins in pig feed and what to do about them from the Department of Agriculture and Food of the Government of Western Australia.

Review of Sow and Piglet Behaviour and Performance in Group Housing Systems for Lactating Sows
Studying multi-suckling and 'get-away' systems, researchers at Wageningen University found that both offered more opportunity for sows to express natural behaviour than individual housing systems, and there were also advantages for the piglets. Selection of suitable sows and the quality of the stockmanship were important for success, they commented.

Analyses of Co-infections with Swine Influenza and PRRS Viruses
In the first study of its type, researchers studied the effects of two different respiratory viruses - Swine Influenza Virus (SIV) and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) on pig lung tissue and immune response.

Post-natal Piglet Husbandry Practices and Well-being: Alternative Techniques in Combination
Research at Purdue University reveals that conducting procedures such as teeth re-section, identification, iron administration, castration and tail-docking can be carried out in ways less stressful to the piglets. The duration of handling is a critical factor in the degree of stress when these procedures are carried out.
Company News

2014 PRRS Research Awards Announced
US - The 2014 Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI) PRRS Research Awards were announced at the annual conference of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV).
Market Reports

USDA GAIN: Japan Livestock and Products Semi-annual 2014
AHDB Pig Market Weekly - 13 March 2014
USDA Feed Outlook - 12 March 2014
China Wholesale Prices - 11 March 2014

Global Pig Industry News

   European Union

EU Ag Sector Role in Economic Crisis Outlined at Major Conference
EU Pig Prices Reflect Positive Trend
Spain: Hog Markets


Environmental Samples from Pig Traffic Site Test Positive for PED
Canada-South Korea FTA Expected to Reverse Declining Pork Exports
Pork Producers Encouraged to Take Advantage of Futures Market
Broad Input Key to Successful Update of Canada's Pig Code
Canada-Korea Free Trade Deal: Good for Canadian Agriculture
Pork Producers Welcome Canada-South Korea Agreement
Full National Pig Traceability Becomes Mandatory
Revised Pig Code Offers Best Outcomes for Animals, Industry
PED in Canada; 27 Pig Farms Affected
Updated Pig Code Sets Canada Apart on Animal Welfare
Manitoba Pork Supports Updated Pig Welfare Code


Little Known of Nutritional Demands of Inseminated Lactating Sows

   United States

Hog Outlook: Hog Futures Continue to Set New Records
Senators Call for Help for Small Pig Producers Hit by PED
Arkansas Study Reports on Environmental Health of
Pig Farm

PED Update in US: First Confirmed Case in Arizona
Pig Futures: Lean Pig Closed Up on Thursday
CME: Early-season Rally for Pork Values Continued
Antibiotics Endgame to be Explored by Summit Panel
Seaboard Gets Approval for Expansion of Pig Feeding Operation
Animal Feed Company Executives Charged with Accounting Fraud
Jim Wyckoff: Lean Hogs Closed Up on Tuesday
CME: 2013 Banner Year for US Meat Demand
Living Near Pigs Increases Risk of Antibiotic-resistant Infection
CME: January Pork Exports Higher Than a Year Ago
Pork Industry Launches Three-Prong Strategy to Stem PED Spread
Questions about Pig Losses to PEDv Send Hog Futures Soaring
Nebraska Report Examines Strengths, Weaknesses in Farming
Positive Start to 2014 for US Red Meat Exports
PEDv Pig Losses Send Hog Futures Soaring: Over-reaction?
Jim Wyckoff: Lean Hogs Closed Up on Monday
High Hog Prices Come with Complications, Positive Export Picture
CME: Impact of Hog Supply Reductions on Feed, Residual Number
Pork Industry Honours Hogberg with Distinguished Service Award
Pork Industry Environmental Stewards Honoured at Pork Forum
Pork Commentary: Hog Market Not Hot, It’s an Inferno!

   United Kingdom

Results Published of UK Pig Abattoir Study
UK Pig Industry Moves to Red Alert over PED
Spot Buyers Looking for Pigs
Farming's Agenda for Low-carbon Food Production
Fewer Breeding Pigs, More Finishers in England's Livestock Census
UK Evaluates National Pig Disease Preparedness Exercise
New Faces Head up Union's Pigs and Poultry Working Groups


Shuanghui Invests in Nanning Pig Project
Chinese Scientists Uncover Pig Link to Human Disease


Colombia Reports First Suspected Cases of PED


Australian Pork Industry Wins Prestigious Young Scientist Award
Australian Pork Limited Embarks on Performance Review
Alternative Energy Company in US Pig Manure Biogas Project


Steady Increase in Incidents of Low Levels of GM Crops in Food, Feed
Russia to Meet with EU over Resumption of Pig Meat Trade
Feed Phosphate Market Driven by Growth in Poultry, Pork Production


PED Confirmed in Japan
PED Suspected in Japanese Pig Herd


Long-term Support Needed for Philippines Farmers


Meat Companies, PED Blamed for Taiwan's High Pork Prices
Taiwan Reports Decline in Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea


Business as Usual for Ukrainian Meat Company

   Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Reports Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea


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