Weekly Overview: Focus on Hanover

19 November 2012, at 11:56pm

ANALYSIS - EuroTier 2012 was the focus of our attention last week. The trade show had plenty to offer visitors interested in the poultry industry, with special conferences as well as a large exhibition area giving a glimpse into the future of the business in the coming years. Reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock production was a theme at two of the satellite meetings and the growing role of China in the global markets for pig meat and soybeans was also addressed.

EuroTier, one of the leading trade shows for the livestock industry, was held in the northern German city of Hanover last week. The organisers, DLG, are hailing it as great success with the number of exhibitors (2,445) and exhibition area up from the previous event two years ago, and there were 25 per cent more visitors.

Suppliers to the pig industry took two halls and there were many presentations specifically for the pig industry, as well as general livestock production.

The importance of animal health and the veterinary profession are key to reducing the use of antibiotics in the livestock industry, according to Dr Hans-Joachim Götz, President of the Federal Association of Practising Veterinarians in Germany, speaking at a press conference at EuroTier.

At the Animal Health Event in Hanover, the focus was on the future use of antibiotics for food animals and how best to achieve the optimum health and well-being of the animals.

Antibiotic use in veterinary medicine is one of the major challenges faced by veterinarians, said Dr Götz, speaking at the International Animal Health Event, which was held as a satellite meeting to the EuroTier Trade show.

The timing of the event was fitting, he said, as an Antibiotic Awareness Day was scheduled in Brussels for 18 November, ahead of a discussion in the European Parliament to draft a resolution on antibiotic use.

Antibiotic resistance is a global issue, said Dr Dr Götz. Whilst vets cannot provide the solutions, he sees it as positive that the profession is to be consulted before the next legislation on the issue is drawn up in Germany.

"The law needs to make sense," Dr Götz stressed.

Pig production is becoming more and more an international business and the Chinese market is emerging as an important outlet for pig meat - especially the fifth quarter products, according to Erik Thijssen, president of the European Pig Producers association. He was speaking at the International Pig Event and Third Chinese-European Pig Summit at EuroTier. He added that the Chinese market is growing and pig production there is expanding although the country is also facing numerous challenges.

China is also changing the world in the soybean market, according to the European president of the American Soybean Association. Speaking at a EuroTier satellite event, Mark Andersen, American Soybean Association's International Marketing Regional Director for Europe, Turkey and Russia said that four years ago, Europe had the largest consumption followed by the US and China. Now, China has taken the lead in consumption.

A range of new feed materials could soon be expanding the way livestock and fish are raised and finished. Everything the livestock producer, animal nutritionist and feed manufacturer could ask for in the range of raw materials and ingredients for animal feed have been made available by the German agricultural association, DLG at EuroTier.

And finally, in other news, sales of antibiotics licensed for use in animals in the Netherlands have exceeded national policy targets set for 2013 by dropping 51 per cent since 2009.