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Sand, sensors and solutions in Pig Progress 7

The latest edition of Pig Progress magazine touches on a host of different subjects, related to health, feeding and welfare issues. And you might come across some sand!

Animal health issues feature prominently with a novel innovation from Canada, to enhance biosecurity during swine transports. A few unfortunate occasions where civilians aimed to ‘liberate’ pigs from trucks showed once more that there is a need for good and consistent monitoring of what is going on inside the trucks. With sensors, at all times an overview is possible, writes correspondent Treena Hein on pages 24-26.

Gene editing is GMO, says EU court

Pig health issues can’t have been too happy with the recent ruling of the EU Court of Justice, deciding that gene editing should be viewed in a similar fashion as genetic modification. Projects like finding a solution to certain diseases through gene editing might suffer from that decision. Contributor Benny van Haandel explains on pages 6-8.

Two of the PRRS-free pigs that were bred at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. Photo: Norrie Russell, The Roslin Institute, UK
Two of the PRRS-free pigs that were bred at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. Photo: Norrie Russell, The Roslin Institute, UK

Thinking along with swine producers

Pig welfare is a topic that is addressed in an interesting interview Pig Progress had with Kate Parkes, senior scientific officer at the British animal welfare organisation RSPCA. The intention was to listen to the views from an animal welfare organisation which has a long standing reputation for listening and thinking along with swine farmers. The result can be found on pages 10-12.

More pig welfare in this month’s Bigger Picture as the camera stopped at a group of outdoor pigs having a go at some apples at Lilbosch Abbey in the south of the Netherlands, pages 18-19.

Black pigs in China: Majestic prices

The sand continues – but then 10,000 km more east on the next few pages (20-23) as Pig Progress was allowed to visit a farm for black pigs in the heart of China. Unaware of the African Swine Fever epidemic that was coming to China later that summer, an intriguing story unfolds on black pigs with majestic prices on the market, pop-up finisher houses and of course – sand as a surface to keep pigs on.

Mr Li Hainin feeding one of his batches of black finisher pigs. He has a moveable bin on rails to help him with that. Photo: Vincent ter Beek
Mr Li Hainin feeding one of his batches of black finisher pigs. He has a moveable bin on rails to help him with that. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

Analysis of China’s pork chain

This month’s country focus stays in China – as promised an analysis of China’s swine business needs more than one article. As a follow up on part 1 on rapid changes in China's pig business, market expert Dr John Strak now zooms in on the pork supply chain in China, pages 14-16.

A rapidly disappearing sight in China? Pork sales at the road side in downtown Chongqing. Photo: Vincent ter Beek
A rapidly disappearing sight in China? Pork sales at the road side in downtown Chongqing. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

Also in China – soon to be held: the Leman China Swine Conference in Zhengzhou. What can you expect? Science driven solutions, that is for sure, but what else? Pig Progress takes a look ahead on page 17.

How to deal with fat-rich ingredients?

Pig nutrition does receive plenty of attention in this edition as well. Just-weaned piglets can have difficulty with fat-rich ingredients, which can be found in high energy diets to make them grow fast. Lysolecithins can help in this respect, explains Olga Dansen of Framelco, on pages 28-29.

Similarly, a balanced feed with a correct feed ingredients can help both sows as well as their piglets, explains Dr Jules Taylor-Pickard of Alltech in a contribution. After all, feeding the sows well also has an effect on her progeny. See more on pages 30-31.

Say what? Cultural differences on a pig farm

Last but not least – this month’s columns. John Gadd continues where he left off, explaining more about how best to move pigs, completely with clear diagrams, on page 9. And page 34 is Dr Monique Pairis-Garcia, who would like to draw attention to culture and language differences on farm. Do we pay enough attention to that?

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