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MAGAZINE: PRRS is still hot; an NC pig farm and freedom farrowing

The next edition of Pig Progress takes a true trip around the world, with features from the USA, Korea, China as well as Germany.

Volume 28, edition 6 contains two reviews of major global pig events. In June, the 22nd edition of the International Pig Veterinary Society Congress took place, as can be seen in the online review. Alongside a heavy emphasis on PRRS, a relatively novel disease named Peri-Weaning Failure-to-Thrive Syndrome (PFTS) also received attention.

At the IPVS congress, the fifth edition of the Pig Management Award was held, sponsored by Elanco Animal Health. The prize was won by Sureemas Nitikanchana, Kansas State University, who made a meta-analysis on pros and cons of wet-dry feeders.

At the World Pork Expo, it was clear that longer-term welfare and health developments are being taken increasingly seriously. The practices of using sow stalls and Antibiotic Growth Promoters are both being challenged, which leads to fierce discussions. A photo gallery of the event is also available.

Whilst in the United States, Pig Progress also visited a successful swine farm in North Carolina and learnt why pig production in the former tobacco state offers lots of opportunities. Click here for a photo gallery.

Clément Soulet, Pancosma, highlights the importance of gut development in weaner pigs and explains why the gut can be described as ‘the second brain’.

Excessive heat may compromise sow reproduction rates – so a good management is vital. How to adjust feed and water rations to make sure sows do consume enough? Dr Ioannis Mavromichalis presents a checklist.

The concept of ‘farrowing rate’ is key to a contribution by Saskia Bloemhof, Topigs Research Center IPG. She defines the concept as ‘the percentage of first inseminations resulting in a litter of piglets being born’. It can play a role in research for genetic selection.

Freedom farrowing is a concept that is gaining popularity in Scandinavia. A major German research institute also zoomed in on the concept, in which sows and piglets can stretch their legs and even meet each other only days after farrowing. First results appear to be positive.

In the company focus section, Pig Progress paid a visit to the brand new Boehringer Ingelheim research laboratory in Shanghai, China.

Regular sections are present as always. John Gadd zooms in on ‘curtain-sided buildings’ in his Ccolumn; Dr Ioannis Mavromichalis tackles the topic of lactose in his Nutrition FAQ; and the Expert Talk is filled by Dr Clive Phillips, University of Queensland, Australia, zooming in on heavey metal pollutants.

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