It wasn’t too hard to figure out what dominated the Pig Progress headlines in 2014 – two diseases, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) in the Americas and African Swine Fever (ASF) in Eastern Europe.
Pig Progress editor Vincent ter Beek takes a look back at 2014 - the highs and the lows
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea
A quick peek into the most read items of 2014 tells that PED virus has been the single topic that has been best read. Especially my Editor's View about the mapping of PEDv attracted many clicks as it involved also the outbreaks in Japan and the Caribbean. The overview was even shown at the IPVS Congress in Cancún, Mexico in 2014.
The ominous weblog by David Burch, projecting that PEDv could also cause a disaster in the European Union from March 2014 (!), also roused a lot of interest. In recent weeks after all the reports that the disease has also struck Ukraine have become very persistent, although until now the Ukrainian veterinary sources choose have not confirmed nor denied anything.
In addition, information about PEDv in Japan was usually also appreciated.
Practical answers – that was what visitors were looking for. After all, the virus' sudden appearance in spring 2013 came with a lot of questions, like how did it get into the US?, how does it spread?, and is there a solution? Every time we published an article that contained (part of) the solution, this was read very well.
In our magazine we have regularly paid attention to the theme, with recent articles like:
African Swine Fever
Another disease – African Swine Fever, also mapped! – has been rousing a lot of interest. Especially for the European Union a lot of detailed information has been available, hence we have been able to minutely report about where wild boars and farms with African Swine Fever have been reported in the European Union.
So far the disease has been reported in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia – and further east also in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Georgia. As the disease usually prefers to travel in warmer weather it remains to be seen what happens when Europe warms up. With PEDv also reported in Ukraine this might become a hot one for Europe.
Fair Oaks Farms
One more topic we might want to remind you of is our coverage of Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana, USA. Established two years ago, this facility has had a double purpose – being both an educative tourist attraction as well as a commercially successful breeding farm. The interest in this concept has been enormous as it unites both the drive of producers to continue to stay in business as well as the awareness by the industry that left or right, there has to be a way to communicate with the end users, i.e. the consumers in supermarkets. Call it a sign of the times.
Just in case you missed it - enjoy the video, our photo report and our background feature.
Last but not least, if you are interested in what other farms we covered in 2014 and before, just visit our interactive farm visit map.