Top themes for the fifth issue of Pig Progress this year are ‘breeding and genetics’ as well as ‘biosecurity’.
Using antimicrobials in pig production is becoming increasingly difficult in several parts of the world and the search for alternatives is in full swing. On behalf of Selko Feed Additives, authors Barbara Brutsaert and Juan Antonio Mesonero Escerudo explain how feed additives can help in a strategy to reduce the dependence on antibiotics. Page 24.
Biosecurity is very important
When antibiotics will not be abundantly available, biosecurity is becoming twice as important. Diseases like Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea and African Swine Fever teach that if producers don't pay attention to what is going on outside the farm, pathogens will find them. A Canadian initiative has been developed to map both farm visitors and clinical signs of suspicious outbreaks – all real-time, to identify sources and vectors very quickly. Correspondent Treena Hein explains how. Page 30.
Health problems caused by genetic defects
Health problems, however, cannot be avoided as they are not so much caused by anything infectious but by a genetic defect. Think of splayleg or malignant hyperthermia. It is possible, however, to learn how to deal with these problems. How is explained by Rex Walters, genetic advisor to the British Pig Association. Page 27.
Disease resistance: Also genetic
Disease resistance, however, is something that can also be genetic. It is possible to help Mother Nature a little by gene editing. This technology consists of intervention on a gene level by cutting DNA to introduce a new strain, to delete one, or to repair it. Often these changes could have occurred in nature as well. Benny van Haandel of E-Barn Consulting sums up what opportunities does this technique offer for pigs? Page 8.
Encouraging pig disease resistance
Disease resistance can also be encouraged on a genetic level, simply by introducing certain pathogens to a herd and continue breeding with those animals that cope with the infection best. Using this technique, the SiamPigs network is gradually expanding in Thailand. Pig Progress took a look at Limpaiboon Farm in Prachinburi province, Thailand, to observe how this is going in practice. Page 20.
Denmark helping Slovakia
This month's country focus takes readers to the middle of Europe: Slovakia. The country's pig industry has been suffering for quite some years since Slovakia came into existence in the 1990s. Danish investments have definitely shaped Slovakia's pig market, describes Maarten Ceyssens of Yumax Consulting Group. Page 12.
Passionate about trace minerals
That minerals play an important role in animal nutrition is nothing new. Emmy Koeleman, editor for All About Feed interviewed William Scrimgeour, COO for Zinpro – and discovered why the company is so passionate about performance trace minerals. Page 14.
Columns on light and aggressive sows
Columnist John Gadd continues on his journey to help readers discover the ideal light intensity, as from page 17. Dr Monique Pairis-Garcia, on page 34, zooms in on sows being aggressive in group housing – and three different areas of research that focus on avoiding this.
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