News and analysis for the global poultry industry.

Articles by Roger Abbott

Pig Production

Pig antibiotic use linked to human antimicrobial resistance

Danish pig producers efforts for reducing antibiotics is a blueprint for global swine sector.
Pig farmers and veterinarians across the globe are feeling the pressure to reduce antibiotic medicines to treat sick livestock after a recent spread of antibiotic resistant diseases in humans across Europe. Several national health authorities have said they believe the misuse or overuse of antibiotics in animals can be linked to the spread of resistant bacteria affecting humans and fear the threat of untreatable ‘super bugs.’
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Talking Pork

Global pig industry looks to China for prosperity

China and its growing demand for food and technology fueling international pork sector.
Annual world pork consumption is about 100 million tons and 50 million of them are consumed in China, according to Karsten Bruun Rasmussen, marketing manager of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council. Currently, Chinese pig producers cannot keep up with growing demand for pig meat products, so its needs for imports are expected to increase in the coming year
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Cover Story

Pig breeding genetic research advances

The cornerstone of any pig breeding program is quality phenotypic measurements.
Twenty five years ago livestock breeding companies were using the theory of multi-trait indexing as their latest tools for driving genetic improvement in their pig breeding lines. This means animals were individually measured for different traits.
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North American pig industry: Cautiously optimistic

Pig producers in North America have reason to look forward to a positive future in regard to prices and cost of production.
Cautious optimism is the watchword for the pig industry across North America as it launches itself into 2012 and beyond. A particular focus is being put on driving the export trade forward and improving pig welfare to guard against attacks from animal rights groups.
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European pig farmers use slurry to cut heating costs

Slurry offers a green alternative for heating pig sheds and reduces fuel consumption.
A growing number of European pig farmers are turning to slurry, a natural renewable resource, to help save on fuel bills.One of Sweden’s largest pig breeding farms, which produces up to 24,000 pigs a year, has devised an innovative way to recycle heat from slurry to keep its sheds warm and save thousands of krona at the same time. 
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Global pig industry supports ‘climate smart farming’ initiative

Helping pig producers reduce carbon emissions will provide a blueprint for other sectors.
Whether you are a believer or not, a growing body of opinion considers climate change is all pervading. Even the British government’s chief scientist, Sir John Beddington is urging the pig industry to adopt “climate smart” agriculture. 
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EU animal welfare rules changing how pigs are raised

New health strategies could help pig producers meet demands with support across the whole supply chain
Animal welfare is a key issue for pig producers in most parts of the world, especially if they want to continue exporting pork products without restriction. The increased demand for more “pig friendly” production methods from consumers and retailers is forcing governments to legislate and impose a plethora of regulations on EU livestock and pig producers. 
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Closer cooperation between European pig producers could be the first step toward increased prosperity for all

Whether we like it or not, the rising cost of animal welfare and “protecting the environment” is becoming as important to pig producers as feed and fuel prices. It makes sense, that as welfare and environmental standards between competitors across northeastern Europe narrow, pig producers should start to forget their national differences and work together to improve systems and performance.
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Tips for combating pig tail biting

Researchers identify key risks and suggest ways to help pig producers overcome them
A preliminary report issued by researchers at the University of Newcastle and University of Bristol in England provides tips to help pig producers control the often serious, on-going welfare problems caused by pig tail biting. This advice follows a three-year research project to develop and evaluate “husbandry advisory” tools to reduce the economic damage caused by tail biting and improve animal welfare.
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Pig producers monitoring energy usage to save on fuel costs

‘Think laterally and consider recycling and reusing heat in novel ways’
With fuel prices in danger of rising as rapidly as animal feed costs, pig producers are advised to evaluate energy usage and reduce inputs wherever possible.Before this can be done, pig producers must monitor their systems carefully to discover how much energy they are using, where they are using it and in what form – electricity, oil, gas, lighting, heat or cooling. 
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Pig producers could be crucial in fight against PMWS

More PCV2 infection research is needed to fight this costly disease
In the mid-1990s, the name Post-Weaning Multisystemic Syndrome was given to an unknown condition seen in piglet producing herds in Western Canada. Within a short time, it became clear that PMWS also was occurring in other countries. Concentrated international research revealed the central culprit to be a porcine circovirus called Type II or PCV2.
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