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Weekly Overview: New Pea Variety Could Improve Pig Protein Intake, Reduce Costs

24 August 2015

ANALYSIS - Scientists at the UK's John Innes Centre have developed a new variety of pea that will help pigs absorb more protein from their diet.

Peas contain several inhibitors that stop proteins being absorbed fully. The research undertaken by Dr Claire Domoney’s group at the John Innes Centre used non-GM methods to develop peas that do not have these inhibitors.

As well as helping animals get more from feed, better protein digestion decreases the nitrogen content of livestock manure. 

The new peas will also cut costs for farmers because fewer of the novel peas will give the same or higher nutritional benefit than standard peas.

In disease news, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) activity in the US has remained at a low level this summer.

Dr Paul Sundberg, the executive director of the National Swine Health Information Center, said the effectiveness of action taken to prevent PED will be put to the test as the country enters the cooler autumn and winter months.

African Swine Fever has been reported over the last week in wild boar and pig operations in Ukraine, Latvia, Russia, Lithuania and Estonia.

All 310 pigs on a farm in Ukraine's Sumy region were destroyed following an outbreak in three of the farm's pigs. Similarly, 14 pigs in Lithuania were killed after findings of the disease, four in Russia and eight in Latvia

There were also three further ASF outbreaks on pig farms in Estonia. In response, 11,366 pigs were destroyed.

Lucy Towers

Lucy Towers
News Team - Editor

After graduating from The University of Sheffield, Lucy joined 5M in 2011 as part of the News Desk team. In 2012, she was promoted to editor of TheFishSite. With previous farming experience and a love for the great outdoors, Lucy has a passion for wildlife and the environment.

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