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EUROTIER - How China Could Save 17.5MT of Sow Feed

by 5m Editor
18 November 2010, at 11:19am

GERMANY - Pig specialists from China and the West came together yesterday (17 November) for the 2nd Chinese-European Pig Summit held in conjunction with EuroTier 2010, writes Jackie Linden, editor of ThePigSite. If the productivity in China could be increased from the present average (13 piglets per sow per year) to 20, the same output of pork meat could be achieved with 17.5 million fewer sows, said one of the speakers.

The 1st Chinese-Europe Pig Summit two years ago at the previous EuroTier was considered such a success that a follow up event was organised in conjunction with EuroTier 2010 in Hanover, Germany.

This time, the event attracted even higher attendance by representatives from government, equipment, feed and genetics companies, research and academia on both sides for the one-day Summit focussing on global trends and opportunities for China's pig production and pork processing markets.

Organisers, DLG and the China Animal Agriculture Association (CAA) highlighted that pig production in China is soaring, even as the global feed industry tackles the challenges of serious diseases and poor grain harvests. Regulators are also focusing more than ever on animal welfare in relation to pig housing and management, they stressed.

Also in association with the European Pig Producers (EPP) and moderated by Peter Best, the Summit aimed to address issue of mutual interest relating to pig health, animal welfare and regulatory concerns as well as China's goal of self-sufficiency in pork.

Welcome addresses were given by Carl-Albert Bartmer (president of the DLG), Clemens Neumann (Department Head at the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection) and Dr Shen Guang (Secretary General of the CAAA).

Dr Andrea Gavinelli, head of the Animal Welfare Unit on the European Commission's Directorate-General for Health and Consumers, gave an overview of the the animal welfare and animal health policies in the EU. He stressed that these two issues are key for improving the sustainability of pig farming. Among the coming regulations is the one, much discussed, of the ban on stalls for housing pregnant sows (between four weeks after service and one week prior to expected farrowing) from January 2013. In answer to a question, Dr Gavinelli confirmed that all EU Member States must comply with this regulation by the stated deadline.

China's policy of moving towards self-sufficiency in pig meat was the topic covered by Dr Ma Chuang, deputy secretary of the CAAA. In his presentation, he said that if China could raise the average productivity of sows from the present 13 to 20 piglets per sow per year, the same output could be achieved with 17.5 million fewer sows, offering savings of around 17.5 million tonnes of feed and 10.5 million tonnes of maize.

Future-orientated animal health programmes were discussed by Dr Gerald Behrens, head of Marketing Food Producing Animals for Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health. He explained for sustainability can be achieved in the industry profitably.

The final session in Summit was on the regulation of pig production in China and Europe. The present and coming regulations in the EU were described by Dr Robert Hoste, agricultural economist with the LEI, Wageningen University, and the practical view of a pig farmer was given by Erik Thijssen (piglet producer and president of the EPP).

Finally, Dr Wang Lixian of the Chinese Institute of Animal Sciences (CAAS) described the history and future of the national strategy for breeding pigs in China.