Two research experiments at Iowa State University were designed to assess the effectiveness of a single application of the CASH Dispatch Kit (Accles & Shelvoke) as a method of euthanasia of pigs at different ages in a laboratory and a commercial farm setting....More
Apparently the fact that Thanksgiving is a recent memory, and food is still top-of-mind, means the timing is right to urge consumers to live in fear of their food. I HATE it when people try to make me fear my food. One of the first big news items to pop up in cyberspace this week was the Consumer Reports magazine article claiming antibiotic-resistant bacteria and traces of ractopamine were found during an analysis of pork chop and ground-pork samples from around the United States. The article is entitled, “What’s in that pork?”...More
In the late 1990s, European animal health officials identified a condition in swine that caused a chronic wasting syndrome in nursery pigs. However, not until the mid-2000s did a syndrome become recognized in the United States that included high mortality and morbidity in late nursery to finishing swine....More
Whether due to lameness or unproductivity, culling sows is a frequent event on most hog farms. Because it is not a daily task, it is not given the emphasis and training needed to effectively manage this neglected profit center, says Terry Whiting, DVM, manager of Animal Health and Welfare, Manitoba Agriculture and Rural Initiatives....More
For many, particularly those in the 45- to 60-year-old age range, the relentless push to move gestating sows out of stalls and into pens “just doesn’t feel right,” explains Tim Loula, DVM, with the Swine Vet Center (SVC), St. Peter, MN....More
One made the transition voluntarily; the other by law.
Day zero for phasing out of gestation stalls for Smithfield Foods was Jan. 25, 2007, when they announced their intent to eliminate gestation stalls within 10 years in favor of loose sow housing for their company-owned sow farms....More
Why is it that whenever you mix unfamiliar sows or pigs in a group a fierce battle ensues?
It’s in their genes. Pigs are hard-wired to establish a hierarchy when placed in the near proximity of others. That’s the conclusion USDA livestock behavioral specialist Jeremy Marchant-Forde offered at a sow housing workshop during the Leman Swine Conference recently. But he adds a caveat: Given a choice, they might just avoid the altercation altogether. At least, that’s what their ancestors would do....More
You may have noticed that we had an election this week. It seems like there has been almost as much time devoted to analyzing the election results on various media outlets as there was time devoted to political advertising—I did say “almost.” I’ve spent several days sorting through the various election results—and I’m still sorting....More
Danish pig producers have announced they are confident of being ready in time for the European Union’s partial ban on the use of sow stalls. According to the latest estimates from Denmark, the industry claims around 85% of its farmers are already keeping pregnant sows in group systems, according to a report Monday by Ed Bedington for the Global Meat News....More
Missouri Farmers Care, a consortium of agricultural groups which successfully beat back two initiatives in the state supported by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is supporting similar efforts in North Dakota.
Missouri Farmers Care has been assisting the North Dakota Animal Stewards, a broad-based coalition that is opposing a misleading ballot initiative in North Dakota....More
I don’t usually turn to the New York Times when I’m trolling for pork industry news, but an article published in last Friday’s issue of that newspaper definitely caught my attention. This is how it started, “Sow 44733 had broken the shoulder of one of her pen mates, rousted another who was huddled in the corner and was chewing on the ear of a third.” This served as the first clue that this wasn’t going to be a typical “the-world-would-be-better-without-gestation-crates” story in the non-farm media....More
Tyson Foods, Inc., the nation’s leading producer of meat and poultry, today announced it is launching a program to personally audit the treatment of animals at the livestock and poultry farms that supply the company. The effort is in line with the company’s core value to serve as a steward of the animals entrusted to it....More
Students and alumni of California State University at Chico, which has a significant agriculture program, quickly revolted last week at a news release put out by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that proclaimed the school had signed onto the Meatless Monday scam perpetuated by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) propaganda....More
The management skills of swine producers throughout the European Union (EU) will be put to the test beginning Jan. 1, 2013, with the mandated move away from gestation sow stalls to group housing. Swine welfare experts predict that 18 of the EU’s 27 pig-producing countries will meet the group-housing deadline....More
The president of an organization leading the fight against cramped cages for pregnant pigs said Tuesday he's seeking a spot on Tyson Food Inc.'s board of directors to put more pressure on the nation's second-largest pork processor to abandon the crates....More
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia accusing the National Pork Board (NPB) of cutting an “unlawful backroom deal” with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) regarding the purchase of the slogan, “Pork: The Other White Meat.”...More
Iowa pork producers know that consumers rely on them to provide a safe and nutritious product that was raised in the best way possible, both for the animal and the farmer, according to the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
One way producers show their commitment to these ideals is by becoming Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus)-certified and by achieving PQA Plus site status....More
ConAgra Foods, Inc., one of North America's leading food companies, Monday issued the following statement regarding the use of gestation housing for sows by pork producers:
“As part of our long-standing commitment to the humane treatment and handling of animals, ConAgra Foods supports the elimination of gestation stall housing for sows. We are asking our pork suppliers to present actionable plans by 2017 that address both the elimination of gestation stalls and creation of traceability systems within the pork supply chain....More