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Wrapping up August: What’s new in the world of pigs?

Most striking pig business news of the last month no doubt was the announcement that Elanco will purchase Bayer’s animal health division. And another take-over: pork processor Danish Crown sells UK’s Tulip to Pilgrim’s Pride.

Elanco will acquire Bayer’s animal health business

Elanco Animal Health entered into an agreement with Bayer to acquire its animal health business in a transaction valued at US$ 7.6 billion. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, creates the 2nd largest animal health company. The transaction will double Elanco’s Companion Animal business, advancing the company’s intentional portfolio mix transformation and creating a balance between its Food Animal and Companion Animal segments.

BI opens health management centre

Boehringer Ingelheim has opened the Boehringer Ingelheim Health Management Centre (HMC) in Shanghai, China. The centre integrates animal disease and health diagnostics as well as monitoring tools to maintain and enhance animal health. Located in the city’s Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, the HMC has an investment of nearly € 3 million in its 1st phase. It is a full service reference lab with all diagnostic disciplines, with a total projected staff of 25.

Photo: Boehringer
Photo: Boehringer

Zoetis establishes research lab at Colorado State

A new Incubator Research Lab will be established by Zoetis at Colorado State University to explore the livestock immune system and target new immunotherapies. This, the company says, will pave the way for new alternatives to antibiotics in food-producing animals. The new 300m2 lab will begin operating at the Research Innovation Center on CSU’s Foothills Campus in early 2020.

MSD: Lawsonia vaccine for piglets allowed in EU

MSD Animal Health has announced that European authorities have recommended the granting of a marketing authorisation for Porcilis Lawsonia, an intramuscular vaccine against Lawsonia intracellularis for piglets. L. intracellularis is a bacterium that causes ileitis, a gastro-intestinal disease also known as porcine proliferative enteropathy.

Thermo Fisher’s ASF virus workflow approved in China

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has approved Thermo Fisher Scientific’s real-time PCR-based workflow to detect and monitor the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF). PCR-based diagnostic testing is designed to identify the virus by detecting its DNA, rather than antibodies that are generated against it, allowing earlier detection of the virus compared to other diagnostic methods.

Roxell opens office building in Maldegem, Belgium

Belgian livestock equipment company Roxell has opened a new office building in Maldegem, Belgium. The building, being a spacious, permanent workspace housing 54 employees, will serve as the company’s international headquarters. The new office was constructed on the site where, until May 2018, the old office building stood. The new office was opened on August 23.

Photo: Roxell
Photo: Roxell

Hotraco: New management and weighing programme

Hotraco Agri has introduced a new management programme for farmers, Prisma Farm Management, which works alongside the Thomas automation system. The programme presents relevant pig barn data graphically for easy comparison of data from all the barns. That includes measurement results for animal weight, climate, feed and water intake. Moreover, the pig farmer can customise the management system dashboard to show what data he wants to see.

In addition, a new animal weigher to the Thomas system, has also come available. The data can be read in the Prisma Farm Management programme and can be linked to the feed and water system. The weigher can be placed anywhere in the barn and is fixed to the ground.

Photo: Hotraco
Photo: Hotraco

Animal control made easy with Smart.Light

German livestock equipment company Weda has developed Smart.Light, a solution that monitors feed intake and alerts any deviating feeding behaviour. If pigs have consumed their feed quantity according to the feed curve, the lamp remains off. If only 80% of the typical feed quantity is consumed, the device turns yellow. If the feed quantity consumed is below 80% of the feed curve, the light turns red. Staff can then respond immediately.

Photo: WEDA
Photo: WEDA

Provimi introduces age-based feeding

Based on additional findings about the connection between diet and age, Cargill’s Provimi introduces Nurture, an age-based feeding programme for pigs. “A young pig’s digestive capability drastically changes between 7 and 35 days of age,” said Dr Matthew Ritter, the company’s swine technical director, adding, “Our teams found new ways to design diets to match the pig’s changing needs. Weaning age is a huge factor in making these decisions.”

New test opportunity for small weaners

Announcing a new service for the feed industry, namely TestPig Baby, the Danish Pig Advisory Center has almost doubled its capacity for testing of feedstuffs and feed additives. The service, which is based on 1,200 weaners weighing 4.1 to 6.5kg, allows testing of the gut of newly weaned pigs in a fast and cost-effective way. TestPig Baby is conducted together with the original TestPig Flex at the TestPig test station, located in the western part of Jutland, Denmark.

Nutrition Technologies to set up insect facility

After completing 3 years developing proprietary technology, in 2018 Nutrition Technologies started commercial production of protein and oil from black soldier fly larvae as a sustainable alternative to fishmeal. Now, the Singapore-based company are set to establish the largest high-tech commercial-scale insect protein production facility in South East Asia. The facility will produce over 18,000 tonnes of insect-based feed ingredients and organic fertilisers every year.

Photo: Nutri-Tec
Photo: Nutri-Tec

Brookside Agra introduces GP Pro+

Brookside Agra is offering all-natural GP Pro+, an acidified nutritional protein supplement to improve pig and sow feeding performance. The product contains digestible sources of peptides, amino acids and trace minerals. Using a preparatory stabilisation and acidification process, the feed ingredient is highly stable with moisture under 5% and pH around 3.

Chr Hansen to expand Copenhagen facilities

Chr Hansen will expand its main office campus and R&D facilities in Hoersholm north of Copenhagen, Denmark. The project includes the establishment of a modern innovation campus with laboratories for an additional 250 scientists. In addition, a new application centre will be established where the company can test and tailor-make new and innovative products in a realistic production environment.

Photo: Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects
Photo: Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects

Danish Crown sells Tulip

Danish Crown will sell Tulip, a prepared foods supplier with 12 fresh and value-added operations in the United Kingdom, to Brazilian-owned Pilgrim’s Pride. The transaction creates one of the largest integrated prepared foods business in the UK with a portfolio of brands and retail private label solutions. The transaction, unanimously approved by Pilgrim’s board of directors and funded with cash on hand, values Tulip at US$ 353 million.

This overview was compiled together with Natalie Berkhout.

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