I know you care what your customers think, because one of the most-read stories on the National Hog Farmer Web site the past few weeks reports on a consumer perception survey conducted by Purdue University last summer. Here’s what else I know, you are doing a good job caring for your animals and producing a safe, affordable pork product. But are consumers aware of the real story behind how pork is produced?...More
A first-of-its kind effort to provide a centralized resource where Iowans can receive information about appropriate farm animal care was announced today in Des Moines by a unique coalition of farmers, animal well-being experts, veterinarians and industry leaders....More
This year up to 40%of European Union(EU)pigs will come from farms that are flouting animal welfare rules. To avoid this trade in illegally-farmed pigs, British shoppers should look for the British independent Red Tractor logo, says Britain’s National Pig Association....More
Only a handful of member states look set to comply with new pig animal welfare regulations, which will come into force across the European Union on Jan. 1, 2013. These shocking new figures were revealed in an article Thursday by Alistair Driver of Farmers Guardian (UK)....More
In an effort to gauge consumer perceptions of livestock production, Purdue University’s Department of
Agricultural Economics and Depart¬ment of Animal Sciences conducted a consumer survey last summer. The survey of 798 participants from a nationally representative sample collected information regarding livestock product purchasing characteristics, perceptions of pig welfare and sources of animal welfare information....More
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