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Portuguese pig producers choose UK breeding stock

UK pig genetics and breeding stock will soon be distributed throughout Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Guiné Bissau and Cabo Verde. This follows the signing of a new contract between UK based pig breeding specialists JSR and Portuguese boar stud Sociedade Técnica de Investigação do Porco Lda.

Following his recent tour of JSR's UK facilities, João Carlos Vinagre Ferreira, Managing Director, selected JSR Genepacker 1 and 2 GGP damline boars and Geneconverter 600 and 700 parent boars for his stud in the Rio Major, where he also practices as a vet. "I was particularly happy to welcome João Carlos and his wife Angela to the UK," says Tim Rymer, JSR Chairman, "My father John Rymer first met the family over 18 years ago when he visited Portugal to discuss the supply of JSR breeding stock. Now, all these years later, we can do business together again and not just for JSR breeding stock, as it was with my father, but also the technical back up and support that has become so crucial to ensure that genetic potential is reached."

João Carlos, together with Diamantino Marto, President of the Portuguese Pig Production Council, joined Paul Anderson, JSR's European Sales Director, on a tour of UK JSR sites, including the Newbottle, Hilyer and Pigwood commercial units. They then visited JSR's NSDS AI stud and laboratory to discuss current and future genetic research, and finally moved onto the recently developed Haywold site, as Paul Anderson explains, "A tour of the 1700 sow and 12,000 pig place finishing unit gave us the opportunity to demonstrate the whole cycle from the parent stock and their progeny through to 100 kgs liveweight.

"The Haywold site runs Titan terminal sires and Genepacker 90's. João Carlos was particularly impressed with the unit's performance figures of 26.4 pigs weaned per sow per year (UK average is 21.9*) and a weaned litter average of 11.2 (UK average is 9.82*). Their intention is to significantly raise performance across the Portuguese pig-herd."

The shipment of breeding stock to Portugal is imminent and will also include a selection of Sire line and Dam line boars which will go into a local boar stud. As a vet, João Carlos works with a group of pig producers from the Leiria region, who farm over 4,000 sows. He also runs a business distributing American Hog buildings, designed with special 'thermal neutral' properties that keep pigs cool in hot weather and ensures reduced incidence of heat stress. João Carlos comments, "Being a vet with a particular interest in animal welfare, I especially value the high level of technical support that comes with my association with JSR. It supports our own business objectives, to provide advanced technology and continually improve efficiency."

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• JSR Genetics

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