Weekly Overview: AASV and NFU Conference Round-Up

ANALYSIS - This week ThePigSite is in New Orleans, USA, for the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) annual conference.
calendar icon 29 February 2016
clock icon 4 minute read

AASV Programme Chair and practising swine veterinarian with Southwest Ontario Veterinary Services in Canada, George Charbboneau, spoke to Sarah Mikesell about the AASV programme, explaining how it is a key part of the ongoing education initiative for swine veterinarians.

"It's an opportunity to make our practitioners and members aware of issues that are happening within the US industry but also around the world," Dr Charbboneau said.

"We know that issues come up in other parts of the world that can have an impact, and it's a global situation."

Key themes of the event this year are animal welfare issues, antimicrobial resistance, pharmaceutical management and prudent use of antibiotics.

"This year one of the things that we tried to do with our theme was to think about what it is that we can do as an industry or a profession to try and work together in a more collaborative way. There are so many of these issues that need to be managed as we go forward that any one individual really isn't going to get the job done on their own," he said.

ThePigSite has also been covering the National Farmers Union Conference in Birmingham, UK.

At the conference, Chris Harris reported that the NFU has called on the British government to strengthen the powers of the Grocery Codes Adjudicator to be extended across the supply chain.

NFU president Meurig Raymond said that too often changes are made to supply contacts at short notice.

“It us scandalous that farmers are so often the last to know, and the first to pay, when this happens.”

Speaking on the potential exit of the UK from the EU, the UK's Environment Secretary Liz Truss said that an exit would be a "leap into the dark".

“I believe that by voting to remain within a reformed EU, we can work to reduce bureaucracy and secure further reform, while still enjoying the significant benefits of the single market, which gives us access to 500 million consumers,” she said.

“We are able to export our high quality products freely without the trade barriers we deal with elsewhere and with a say in the rules.”

In disease news, an outbreak of African Swine Fever was reported in village pigs in Ségou, Mali. There were 130 cases in total, out of a susceptible population of 1003 pigs.

Further cases were also reported in Estonia and Latvian wild boar.

In other ASF news, researchers from the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, in Scotland, have used advanced genetic techniques to produce pigs that are potentially resilient to ASF.

The new pigs carry a version of a gene that is usually found in warthogs and bush pigs, which researchers believe may stop them from becoming ill from the infection.

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