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Managing PRRS
It’s cold outside. Have you PRRS-proofed your herds?
Cold weather means closer confinement and a greater risk of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSv). A leading PRRS expert recommends ways to keep this common and costly disease in check. read more
winter housing
Build up winter housing defenses to ward off disease
Optimizing pig sheds is vital for maintaining herd health, but in the winter months, getting the environment right is especially important in warding off illness. read more
Strategies for managing piglet diarrhea
Four strategies for managing piglet diarrhea
Nutrition, commercial vaccines, good hygiene and immunity of piglets through colostral transfer are four key strategies in managing piglet neonatal and peri-weaning diarrhea. read more
castration alternative
Castration alternative boosts carcass yields, value in multiple trials
An alternative to physical castration for male pigs can help US pig producers reap the production benefits of raising intact males without boar taint, while improving carcass value by $2.44 per head. read more
Pig vaccines vital to controlling antibiotic use
Vaccines vital to tackling antibiotics use
Vaccinating pigs against disease has a vital role to play in limiting the routine use of antibiotics in global livestock production, says a leading animal scientist. read more
blood poisoning significant cause of piglet mortality
Danish management scheme aims to limit piglet deaths linked to blood poisoning
Danish pig producers are being encouraged to reassess their herd health management after it emerged that blood poisoning from routine operations was a significant cause of piglet mortality. read more
livestock transportation
Transportation training aims to limit risk of disease spread
Greater investment in transport training and technology is helping limit the risk of disease spreading between Canada’s pig farms, according to an expert in livestock transportation. read more
Impending surgical castration ban
Be prepared for surgical castration and tail docking ban, EU producers told
Europe’s pig producers should prepare themselves for an eventual ban on surgical castration and tail docking across the continent, according to a leading industry expert. read more
FAO releases GLEAM-i tool
FAO releases tool to calculate environmental impact of pork production
Farmers, policymakers and scientists can now access a tool to calculate greenhouse gas production arising from the production of meat, thanks to a new online tool developed by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). read more
Soy substitutes for pig feed
German pig feed project seeks out sustainable soy substitutes
A group in Germany is exploring options to replace soy in pig feeds with alternative protein sources, giving added meaning to the term “locally produced pork.” read more
Dr. Galina provides tips to better Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae control
Five steps to better Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae control
SUSTAINABLE HEALTH - For pig producers and veterinarians, the health and economic impact of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (MH) is clear. In the US, enzootic pneumonia caused by MH is considered one of the “big three” respiratory diseases in swine. read more
Enriched pens linked to less gestational stress, lower piglet mortality
Housing sows in enriched pens can reduce stress and have a positive impact on the development and survival rate of piglets, according to scientists. read more
Bigger not always better in quest for sustainable pork
Striving to produce heavier pigs is not necessarily the answer to increasing pig productivity and farm profitability, an expert in pig genetics has warned. read more
Mixed reviews: Researcher says mixed farming systems not always sustainable
Mixed farming systems should not be promoted by policy-makers as a generic solution to making agriculture more sustainable, according to a prominent scientist. read more
Pig farmer uses manure to produce renewable natural gas
Swine producers growing pork and power
Nearly 2 million pigs in Missouri are on track to supply enough manure to create 2.2 billion cubic feet of renewable natural gas (RNG) annually — or the equivalent of 17 million gallons of diesel fuel. read more
John Mackinnon discusses castration alternative at conference
Benefits of castration alternative presented at global pig-health event
Two world-renowned experts discussed the economic and welfare benefits of using a novel castration alternative at the 2016 International Pig Veterinary Society conference in Dublin. read more
Reducing levels of copper in pig feed
Europe set to reduce copper in pig feeds to protect environment
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has proposed changes to the level of copper that can be included in livestock and pet feeds due to concerns over possible links between mineral accumulation in the environment and antibiotic resistance in disease-causing organisms. read more
higher-welfare pork
Three-quarters of Chinese shoppers would pay for higher-welfare pork
China’s food producers were once prepared to overlook animal welfare in favor of low-cost meat in the past; however, the latest survey from World Animal Protection revealed that Chinese consumers are now willing to choose and pay more for higher-welfare pork. read more
Proposed antibiotic rules will benefit Canadian pig farmers
Tightening antibiotic rules to benefit Canadian farmers
Proposed changes to rules governing antibiotic use in Canadian livestock production will benefit pig producers, according to one of the country’s industry experts. read more
Researchers report urgency of investment for sustainable food production
Urgent investment needed to boost sustainable production
Researchers warn that sustainable food production won’t become a reality unless more funding is made available. read more
People power: Staff hold the key to pig farm sustainability
Many successful pig producers say finding and retaining employees is the toughest challenge they face read more
Sustainable markets in Russia optimize pig production
Sustainable Markets: How will global pig markets react to changes in Russia?
In today’s interconnected, global economy, changes and events in one market can have worldwide implications. “Sustainable Markets” is a series of articles focused on market news and its impact on the economic and environmental sustainability of the global pork industry. read more
Creating a closed system has helps German pig producer reduce costs and limit risks to his farm
Closed to risk: How one pig farmer is managing price volatility
Creating a closed system has helped one German pig producer reduce costs and limit risks to his farm, making sure his business is sustainable for the next generation. read more
Food-industry changes and retail policies
Food-industry changes leave some pig farmers feeling ‘thrown under the bus’
Some US pork producers are struggling to keep pace with new foodservice and retail policies that reflect consumer-based perceptions of sustainability, Pork Perspectives reports. read more
Pork producers must plan carefully to maintain economic sustainability during Brexit
Planning crucial to ride out Brexit uncertainty
Uncertainty brought about by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union means pig producers everywhere must plan carefully to ensure their business’ economic sustainability, experts say. For British producers, locking in prices and recognizing opportunities arising from Brexit is key. read more
Training staff to spot sick pigs early leads to higher performance, lower mortality
SUSTAINABLE HEALTH - Pig health is critical for maintaining animal welfare and ensuring a steady supply of safe and affordable pork. read more
Cutting tail biting, without cutting the tail
Researchers discussed the latest information on the causes and prevention of tail biting at a recent international pig health conference. read more
Reducing retail waste in the pork chain
Supermarket savings: How retailers are reducing waste in the pork chain
Finding ways to limit retail waste has been identified as a key part of the battle in securing food supplies for the world’s growing population. In the second of a series of articles, VOSP examines what retailers are doing to cut waste in the pig supply chain. read more
Time to reinvent the pig industry?
An animal-welfare campaigner presents his view of the pig industry in 2025. read more
Diagnostics can optimize PCV2 vaccination
Using diagnostics to optimize PCV2 vaccination
SUSTAINABLE HEALTH - Vaccines are one of the most effective tools for preventing PCV2 infection, but several factors influence a vaccination strategy’s success. read more
Castration alternative credited with improving feed efficiency, carcass quality on Belgian farm
A pig producer in Belgium has reported that making the switch from surgical castration to boar-taint vaccination has resulted in better carcass quality, improved feed conversion and reduced antibiotic use. read more
Initiative Tierwohl
Is Germany’s ‘Initiative Tierwohl’ improving pig welfare standards?
By Vicky Bond, EU Food Business Manager, Compassion in World Farming read more
How pig processors can tackle food waste
In the face of a growing world population, tackling the huge amount of food that goes to waste is a vital step to securing sustainable food supplies. In the first of a series of articles on reducing waste across the pig supply chain, VOSP looks at what processors can do to make a difference. read more
An expert provides tips for managing the consequences of aggressive sow behavior
Specialist offers tips for targeting aggressive sow behavior
Dealing with the consequences of aggressive behavior in sows is one of the greatest challenges with the transition to group-housing systems, according to Monique Pairis-Garcia, PhD, Ohio State University. read more
Better biosecurity means healthier pigs
Improved biosecurity on farms — avoiding contact between groups of animals and reducing the general infection pressure — can help to improve animal health, while reducing the need for medications and the risk of antimicrobial resistance. This makes sense in theory but the proof may be elusive. read more
Branching out: Trees can boost pig farms’ sustainability
It may not be an obvious solution, but by driving productivity and helping the environment, planting trees can play a key role in boosting the sustainability of pig businesses. read more
New study sniffs out boar taint in pig carcasses
German research takes us a step closer to the automatic detection of boar taint in pig meat. read more
Sustainability commitment brings commercial gains for Chilean pig firm
Continuous improvement of sustainability standards has led to better yields and meat quality for one of Chile’s largest pig producers. read more
Breeding-herd decline to boost US pig margins
Smaller breeding herds and lower production costs could help struggling US pork producers turn a modest profit this year... read more
Productivity potential drives Brazilian increase in disease diagnostics
Increasing numbers of Brazil’s pig producers are turning to disease diagnostics to get a better understanding of pig health and drive their herds’ productivity, according to an expert in swine health. read more
Food waste provides a safe, cheap and green feed source for pigs in Asia
Several Asian countries are turning food waste into pig feed – and doing so without the risks of disease perceived in other parts of the world. read more
McDonald’s reconsiders position on “No Antibiotics Ever” pork
McDonald’s is currently working with the beef and pork industries on an approach to antibiotics use in cattle and hog production that, at this point, does not take a “never ever” approach, reports Meatingplace. read more
Welfare, biosecurity key to US pork growth, analyst says
Significant growth could be in store for the US pig sector, provided it recognizes its potential in the global pig market, a leading agricultural analyst has said. read more
Castration also hurts the bottom line in pig production
A new study from Spain shows that surgical castration leads to higher mortalities and lower weaning weights in male piglets — and as a result, diminished economic returns. read more
Could insect-fed pigs be the next sustainable food trend?
Fly larvae, duckweed and soy grown in Europe could offer pig farmers sustainable alternatives to importing soybeans from South America, according to a leading livestock business advisor. read more
Livestock farming can help feed the world sustainably
Animal production systems can be adapted to meet the growing world demand for food without deleterious environmental impacts, according to a new international study. read more
Debate: The future of organic agriculture in the EU
Organic plays an increasing role in EU agriculture. There’s also an ongoing trialogue negotiation on organic regulation review among the Parliament, Commission and the member states. read more
Is organic farming really ‘greener’?
With Europe’s organic regulations under review, two EU Parliament members debate the environmental sustainability of organic and conventional production systems. read more
Australia eradicating sow stalls to meet consumer-driven welfare standards
Australia’s pig industry has vowed to be free of sow stalls within two years as part of its drive to raise pig welfare standards in the country. read more
cost, cost effectiveness
Take action when pig margins are squeezed
When margins are tight, pig producers need to focus on opportunities to save money to keep their business profitable in the long term. read more
Italian meat company balances tradition, quality with need for greater sustainability
A century-old salumi maker says sustainable and welfare-friendly processes are key to keeping its traditional products relevant to today’s consumers. read more
French pork producer focuses on sustainability to meet evolving consumer demands
In a country world-famous for its food, a small French pig producer’s strategy for meeting consistently high standards of quality, welfare and nutrition has earned it a spot on the map. read more
Danish studies offer clues for controlling boar taint, assuring quality in meat from organic boars
Studies from organic pig farms in Denmark show that levels of hormones associated with boar taint vary with liveweight, location and season of the year and, to a lesser extent, on the cleanliness of the animal and its housing. read more
Demonstration farm helping pork industry see benefits of pig-castration alternative
A group of 250 intact male piglets arrives at the demonstration farm ready to be the face of a new type of pork production. read more
Could TTIP be the tipping point for pig welfare standards in Europe?
The controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership could finally be agreed in 2016. But will it mark a decline in pig meat standards in Europe? read more
Red Tractor green-lights boar-taint vaccine trials in UK
The country’s leading farm assurance scheme has agreed to allow the animal welfare benefits of a boar taint vaccine to be assessed under commercial conditions in the United Kingdom. read more
Wendy’s new supplier code sets criteria for pork production
U.S. fast-food chain Wendy’s announced that 2022 is its target date to eliminate the use of sow stalls in its supply chain. read more
UK report weighs pros and cons of free-farrowing systems
A UK animal-welfare group urges producers to consider the welfare of both sows and piglets with free-farrowing systems, stressing that what benefits one may not always benefit the other. read more
Climate changes forces European feed suppliers to switch from wheat to another grain
Altered weather patterns could force changes to European pig feeds
Europe’s animal nutritionists may have to switch from its grain of choice for pig feeds – wheat – as more frequent bad weather events force the region’s farmers to grow alternative crops... read more
Sustainable pork production: What does it really mean?
Ecological engineer Marty Matlock, PhD, says the world pork industry needs to dramatically increase production over the next 30 to 40 years — without increasing land use. More intensified production is key to sustainability... read more
Danish inspiration: UK pig sector prepares for new EU environmental regulations
Denmark has among the strictest environmental laws covering farming in the EU. To see what it takes for Danish producers to meet these requirements... read more
Boar-taint vaccination associated with less male aggression in Australian study
Boar-taint vaccination improved the welfare of male pigs kept under commercial conditions by inhibiting sexual and aggressive behavior, according to new research from Australia. read more
China works to reverse poor pig-welfare record
Animal welfare historically hasn’t been a high priority in China, but as the country continues to rise in the global pork industry, things are starting to change for the better. read more
European Union to move together over GM feed approval
The European Parliament announced that it rejected a draft European Union law that would enable any EU member state to restrict or prohibit the sale and use of EU-approved genetically modified (GM) food or feed on its territory. read more
UK’s pig welfare standards set to change
As of December 2, 2015, pig farmers in the United Kingdom who participate in the Freedom Foods assurance scheme will have to comply with new standards or risk losing this high-welfare status. read more
Farmers, veterinarians unite to tackle antimicrobial resistance
The objective of antibiotic strategies should be to reduce resistance to antibiotics and not their use, according to the International Federation of Animal Health (IFAH), including IFAH-Europe. read more
Boar taint vaccination: Plus points for an ‘entire’ market
For years, Britain has boasted some of the world’s highest standards of pig welfare. But as continental Europe moves to ban surgical castration, the UK’s “castration-free” status may no longer serve as a strong market differential. read more
Boar taint vaccine provides a ‘win-win’ castration alternative, experts say
Animal welfare expert Dr. Temple Grandin says immunocastration provides a “win-win” alternative for both pigs and producers. read more
GAIA: Boar taint vaccination is ‘best tool available’ for welfare, production
Michel Vandenbosch, chairman and campaign leader of Belgian animal rights group Global Action in the Interest of Animals Association (GAIA) says boar taint vaccine is not only the “best tool available” to ensure animal welfare, but it also has important benefits for producers. read more
Belgian retailer profits from higher welfare standards
Stefan Goethaert, director of Colruyt Group, says the Belgian retailer’s animal welfare policies have boosted profits and consumer trust, without affecting production costs. read more
Lighting the way to food preservation
The strong antibacterial effect of blue light emitting diodes (LED) on major foodborne pathogens could lead the way to chemical-free food preservation. read more
RSPCA Assured label boosts animal welfare
Over the next five years, an estimated 100 million farm animals will have improved welfare guaranteed by the new Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Assured label. read more
Humans lead in antibiotic consumption
Antibiotic resistance is frequently linked to the use — and perceived overuse — of antibiotics in livestock. However, a new Swedish study tells a much different story. read more
CIWF award winners improving lives of 85K pigs
Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) recently granted Good Pig Awards to five international businesses that are working to improve welfare conditions for meat pigs and sows in the food chain. read more
Pigs not to blame for antibiotic resistance
Pigs, their manure and their handlers are frequently targeted as the source of antibiotic resistance, but recent research in Sweden suggests humans are to blame. read more
carcass composting
Carcass composting proves safe, economical
Pig carcasses can be safely and economically composted on farms to produce valuable organic fertilizer, according to a new study by researchers from Ireland’s Agricultural and Food Development Authority (Teagasc). read more
pen density shows benefits in weaning, but not in finishing
Reduced pen density benefits short lived
A recent study on the effects of pen density on pig welfare and growth showed that lower pen densities improved average daily gain, lesion scores and behavior activities in the weaner phase, but once pigs entered the finishing phase in standardized pens, these benefits disappeared. read more
Stopping piglet castration, for good
Ending piglet castration is a responsibility shared by all members of the pork chain, but according to Peter Stevenson, chief policy advisor for Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), food retailers must do more to promote market acceptance of castration alternatives. read more
Who wants a €20 ham-and-cheese sandwich?
A group of artists in Amsterdam set out learn what it takes to make a simple tosti — a grilled ham and cheese sandwich — from scratch on an urban farm. One year, 20 volunteers and €35,000 later, they finally got to eat. read more
Proposed GMO ruling threatens to divide EU market
The European Commission has called for amended legislation that would allow member states to restrict or prohibit use of EU-authorized genetically modified organisms (GMO) for animal feed or human food consumption, according to a report on ThePigSite. read more
New FAO model assesses livestock’s environmental impact
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has developed a new modeling framework to assess livestock’s contribution to feeding a growing population, while mitigating its environmental impact. read more
Is your drinker system wasting water and money?
Pig producers can save $4.50 USD simply by reducing drinking-water waste, wrote Ken Engele of Canada’s Prairie Swine Centre. read more
Algae helps remove ammonia, pathogens from pig wastewater
Wastewater from pig farms could soon be treated with algae, resulting in reduced waste and a potential feed source... read more
Ouch: Tail biting hurts welfare, economic performance
Chronic tail biting is a larger than expected problem with a substantial welfare and economic impacts, according to a new report from Teagasc. read more
Farm animal welfare moves to forefront in Germany
The German agriculture department has launched a new initiative designed to make animal welfare a high priority. read more
EU proposes new reporting requirements for veterinary medicine
The European Commission has proposed to increase the period of reporting on the use of veterinary medicines in pigs to from 28 days to 60 days before slaughter, reports ThePigSite. read more
Lysozyme as effective as antibiotics for weaned piglets
Piglets treated with the enzyme lysozyme grew just as fast as piglets treated with in-feed antibiotics, according to studies by the US Agricultural Research Service (ARS). read more
Study: Organic boar rearing not economically viable
Controlling boar taint in uncastrated organic boars is possible, but not economically viable, according to a report by the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture (DCA). read more
Sow mixing has no long-term effect on welfare, reproduction
Mixing sows at weaning or after mating had minimal long-term impacts on welfare and reproduction in a study by the Co-operative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC) read more
EU animal welfare laws to apply beyond EU borders
The European Court of Justice recently ruled that the EU’s laws on welfare for pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and horses apply when they are exported to third countries outside the EU. read more
UK pork scheme to use CCTV to ensure animal welfare
A recent review of British Meat Processors’ Association (BMPA) Pork Scheme quality standards resulted in several changes, including the use of CCTV in areas of animal welfare. read more
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