Economic constraints are not thought to have had a major impact on this year’s International Pig Veterinary Society Congress (IPVS), and with registered delegates at 2,600, attendance is similar to past editions.

And the mood from the event is reported to be positive, perhaps not surprising, if the long-term view of the pork industry is taken into consideration.

The increase in the levels of consumption and trade in pork have outstripped those recorded for chicken and beef over the last decade and this is set to continue.

The message came from Dr Dermont J Hayes, of the Trade and Agriculture Policy Division at Iowa State University, and formed part of his presentation on the challenges facing the industry.


Dr Hayes also noted that, in the global arena, the European Union is having to adapt to its changed position in export markets as the health gains that it once held are being eroded by production gains in North America. Amongst its strategies has been the repositioning of pork away from being simply a commodity product.

Bayer Animal Health’s Jim Gerardot continued the theme that the pig industry is one where great changes are taking place. He noted that, over the last decade, industrialization has been the great challenge, however, the challenge for the decade ahead will be precision production – fine tuning health and management for maximum profitability.

He added that, in the US, strong communication channels already exist between producers and slaughterhouses, which helps producers to supply exactly what processors require. This exchange of information is also becoming increasingly common in the European market.