As African Swine Fever advances in Asia, companies are keen to market and develop new strategies to fight the virus. April 2019 was the month of various new product approvals in the European Union and some pork processor take-overs.
Animal health company Boehringer Ingelheim has acquired a minority stake in SoundTalks. That is a Belgian company which has developed a digital monitoring tool, revolving around a digital microphone that records pig coughing. The system lets farmers and vets intervene more quickly to obtain samples and get a diagnosis. BI plans to install the SoundTalks system in select pig barns in the USA and other major swine markets this spring in a pilot programme.
In the meantime, SoundTalks initiated the launch of its SOMO Gen 2 product. The product combines microphones with sensors for temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity and light intensity. The company also launched a new gateway and apps for Web, iOS and Android.
BI, in turn, also announced to enter a research collaboration with GNA Biosolutions, focused on the development of a rapid African Swine Fever (ASF) diagnostic test. The test would be used in combination with GNA’s portable molecular diagnostic platform.
More ASF news as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) intends to grant Bulgaria’s Huvepharma an exclusive license for an experimental African Swine Fever (ASF) vaccine. The license will be royalty-bearing, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service agency said in a statement. The final date for submitting comments is May 22.
Animal nutrition company Biomin received good news from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The EFSA’s Panel on Additives and Products or Substances in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) published a favourable scientific opinion on the company’s phytogenic product Digestarom DC on the safety and efficacy in weaned piglets. The positive opinion is an important step in getting the product registered as a zootechnical feed additive.
Ceva Animal Health was involved in handing out awards for vets promoting animal welfare at the WVA Congress in San José, Costa Rica. Among the laureats was Dutch pig vet Anette van der Aa, who collaborated on the creation of a decision tool, guiding users whether or not to euthanise piglets.
South Korean company Bioapp launched Herbavac CSF Green Marker – a new plant-derived vaccine against Classical Swine Fever virus. The vaccine comes with ‘green biotechnology’ based on Nicotiana benthamiana and with the vaccine it is possible to differentiate infected from vaccinated animals. The vaccine does not have the Erns antigen, observed in field viruses as well as attenuated live vaccines.
Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF), Thailand’s largest agribusiness will acquire Canadian pork producer HyLife for US$ 372.7 million to expand its North American business. The purchase makes CPF a 50.1% owner of HyLife, with the remainder held by its Japanese partner, Itochu, The investment will give CPF access to a pork production base and chance to grow in North America and Japan. In turn, HyLife will be able to grow its business internationally.
Through its daughter Seara, pork processor JBS has bought pork processor Adelle Indústria de Alimentos, for roughly US$ 60 million. Adelle produces value-added pork products like smoked sausages, hams and frozen pork. The take-over allows JBS to expand the production of these products. The transaction is subject to approval by the Brazilian authorities.
Dutch-based pork processor Vion has opened its own Meat Master Center. In a special experience area at Vion’s headoffice in Boxtel, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders will be able to interactively get acquainted with Vion’s new meat concepts and demand-driven supply chains. The centre comes with a fully equipped kitchen and a large barbecue.
Canadian pork processor Olymel re-opened a slaughterhouse and cutting plant in Atrahan, QC, Canada after an investment of over CAN$ 120 million and 2 years of intensive work. That included the modernisation, renovation and doubling the area of its pork division. As a result, another Olymel division in Yamachiche, QC, was closed and 351 employees now will also start working in Atrahan, which will in total employ over 1,000 people.
For the 14th time AI specialist Magapor held its International Technical Meeting (ITM). Held at in Zaragoza, Spain, on 24 and 25 April, 2019, this year’s theme was ‘Present and future in swine reproduction’. Breeding companies and technical specialists attended from 37 different countries worldwide. In total, there were 400 attendees, listening to 17 speakers from all over the world.
The 1st edition of the Dutch Pork Expo, held 16-17 April in Venray, the Netherlands, was visited by 4,823 visitors from the country’s pig industry. They could pay a visit to 180 exhibitors from this industry. The show is the successor of the LIV days, which focused on both poultry and pig production.
Phytogenics company Delacon is making its first steps on the Japanese market as since the 2nd half of 2018, Tokyo-based Yptech has been the exclusive distributor for the Austrian company. Products are available for ruminants, poultry and swine. Although antibiotic growth promoters are allowed to be used in Japan, there is a tendency to shift to AGP-free production, according to Delacon in a press release.
Topigs Norsvin announced 2 new boar stud partnerships with TriOak Foods of Oakville, IA, USA. Long Creek Semen Center, in Danville, IA will house the company’s genetics exclusively and has the capacity for 135 boars. This barn will be filtered and air-conditioned and will have semen available for sale beginning in summer 2019. Barlow Semen Center in Eads, CO, USA, is a mixed genetics stud that will have Topigs Norsvin semen available in spring 2019.
Topigs Norsvin Canada recently hosted the 10th AIM Worldwide seminar in Winnipeg, MB, Canada. The theme of this year’s meeting was ‘Clean, Sweep, and Eliminate’. There were 55 attendees including Topigs Norsvin customers from 20 different countries.
For the first time, Spanish animal health company Hipra held an event for professionals of the Iberian swine industry. Entitled ‘Let’s talk about the Iberian pig’, the event was held in Extremadura, Spain early April and brought together about 100 veterinarian experts in Iberian pigs. During the day, topics came up like e.g. the perspectives of the Iberian market inside and outside the Quality Standard and the commercialisation of different Iberian products.
Staffordshire, UK-based ARM Buildings is offering 2 new wet-and-dry shelf feeders for pigs – the SF3D Fattening and the SF3D Wean-to-Finish. Claimed to allow large numbers of pigs to eat placidly, without wasting feed, the feeders offer a range of options. This versatility enables pigs to choose between eating dry feed from an upper tray or feed mixed with water in a lower trough.
CCPA continues to develop its ThermoTool application, which is designed to assess the risks of heat stress in livestock. The app, launched in 2015 allows breeders to calculate and evaluate the risks of heat stress for their animals, based on ambient temperature and humidity. Until recently, the application used to send real time data from the nearest weather station. Now the application can also be connected to a sensor to be placed in the farm buildings.
Yeast company Leiber and its Polish subsidiary won gold an silver prizes as the Ferma trade fair in Poland. The new product Leiber YeaFi AB, a mixed product consisting of brewer’s yeast compounded with apple pomace and beet pulp, was awarded a prize as an ‘innovation’. In addition, the specialist brewer’s yeast product Biolex MB40 received a gold medal.
Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) celebrated the opening of its new modern livestock feed facility in Quincy, IL, USA. This is the 4th animal nutrition manufacturing facility in North America opened in recent months by the company. The new facility is located next to the original feed manufacturing plant ADM purchased in 1998. It is 1 of 6 ADM locations in the Quincy area, where ADM employs approximately 500 people.
Minerals company Animine hosted its annual Asian distributors meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, in March 2019. This workshop gathered 25 participants from 8 countries in Asia-Pacific zone and discussed the performance of CoRouge, a new source of copper, which is already launched in Europe and is at the end of registration process in Asian countries.
Smithfield Foods and Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) have formed a joint venture called Monarch Bioenergy to produce renewable natural gas across Smithfield’s hog farms in Missouri, United States. This partnership converts manure collected from Smithfield farms into RNG, while simultaneously delivering ecological services and developing wildlife habitat.